Iranian authorities ordered the diversion of a Mahan Air flight in order to offload the wife and daughter of Ali Daei, a football legend and political dissident in Iran.
Mahan Air A310 Diverts To Kish Island To Offload Family Of Footballer Ali Daei
Mahan Air Flight W563 took off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) on Monday, bound for Dubai (DXB). But rather than land in Dubai, the Airbus A310 aircraft diverted to Kish Island (KIH). On Kish Island, located just 123 miles from Dubai, to drop off two passengers.
Those passengers were Mona Farokhazari, wife of Iranian football legend Ali Daei, and their daughter.
According to a report from Iranian state media, Daei is quoted as saying:
“My daughter and wife were taken off the flight, but they were not arrested. Had they been banned [from leaving], the passport police system should have shown it: No one has given me an answer about this. I really don’t know what is the reason for these things. My wife and daughter were going to Dubai for a few days trip and back.”
It appears that a mistake was made in Tehran and the pair were allowed to board the flight without having the authority to do. The Islamic Republic routinely blocks citizens from leaving the country, including the family of political dissidents.
Ali Daei made waves by supporting protests over the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police for refusing to wear a head covering in public. Daei called on Iran to “solve the problems of the Iranian people rather than using repression, violence, and arrests.”
State media also reported, “Daei’s wife had pledged to inform the relevant institutions of her decision before leaving the country” due to their “association with the groups against the Islamic revolution and rioters and calling for strikes.”
The organization Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI) reports that inside Iran, over 500 protesters have been killed and more than 18,500 people have been arrested since late September.
I was also questioned on Kish Island…I wonder if Farokhazari faced interrogation in the same room I did?
A Mahan Air A310 enroute to Dubai diverted to Kish Island in order to drop off the wife and daughter of a football legend turned political dissident (for the audacity of urging the government not to be violent against protestors). The pair do not appear to be under arrest, but are being sent back to Tehran with the warning that they cannot leave the Islamic Republic.
image: Anna Zvereva / Wikimedia Commons