Israel Gives Life-Saving Asylum to Iranian Journalist Booted from Turkey

Iranian-born Journalist Neda Amin, Photo, Facebook
Iranian-born Journalist Neda Amin, Photo, Facebook

JERUSALEM, Israel – Neda Amin, the 32-year-old Iranian journalist who fled to Turkey three years ago, arrived in Israel Thursday morning.

In early July, the Turkish government said it would no longer grant her refugee status and gave her 30 days to leave the country or be deported to Iran because she was writing for Times of Israel's Farsi-language website.

In Iran, she would have faced certain imprisonment, torture and the death penalty for her association with Israel.

Speaking with reporters from the Times of Israel's Jerusalem office, Amin said she's thankful to be in Israel where she feels safe. She said Israel was the only country willing to grant her asylum without delay on humanitarian grounds.

Amin said she feels an affinity with Israel in part because her paternal grandmother is Jewish. She said she would like to stay but would respect any decision by the authorities.

"According to Jewish law, my father is considered Jewish, but according to Muslim law, my father is considered a Muslim," she said, adding that her father didn't really believe in Islam so he also learned about Judaism, the Times of Israel reported.

Amin said some of her family and friends have broken off contact with her, fearing repercussions from the Iranian government.

Times of Israel founder David Horovitz said his choice was to "do nothing or see if we can save her."

"I don't think I could have lived with myself if I had found out that she was on a plane back to Iran," Horovitz said. "Somebody's life was potentially in danger, and the Israeli authorities did far beyond what would be expected in my opinion. They made sure that she was able to leave."



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