Spain confirms the release of incarcerated national in Iran

MADRID (AP) — A 24-year-old Spanish citizen has been released from prison in Iran after almost four months, Spain’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

Ana Baneira was released Saturday, the ministry said, explaining that it waited to make the announcement until her plane took off from Iran.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said Baneira would first fly to Dubai, then to Geneva, and finally to Coruña, the northern Spanish city where she is originally from and is expected to arrive Monday.

The reasons for her arrest and detention in early November were not made public. Baneira is a human rights activist who was arrested while allegedly taking part in protests in Tehran, according to Spanish national news agency EFE.

A family spokesperson told The Associated Press that Baneira was visiting Iran on a vacation and that the trip was not related to human rights activism. The spokesperson, Llerena Perozo, described her as committed to protecting the environment and interested in getting to know different cultures and social realities through travel.

Baneira was one of two Spanish nationals known to have been detained in Iran amid the anti-government protests that erupted in the country after the death of Masha Amini, a woman who died in police custody.

The other one is Santiago Sánchez, who was arrested in early October after visiting Amini’s tomb during a trekking trip that crossed Iran.

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