Detention two Spanish citizens in Iran spark protests back home in Madrid

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By Gael Camba
"Your family asks for your quick release," says the banner protesters held in Madrid.
"Your family asks for your quick release," says the banner protesters held in Madrid.   -  Copyright  AFP

The mother of a Spanish man who was arrested in Iran, Santiago Sánchez, has made a plea to Iranian authorities on Sunday, to accept her apology for any offence created by her son taking photographs of the grave of Masha Amini. Amini was a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who had been arrested for allegedly violating the country's strict dress code for women and sparked protests in the Islamic country.

Celia Cogedor was flanked by family and friends as she read a statement standing in front of a banner asking for her son's "early release."

"In no way did he intend to undermine the security of the state of Iran, if, in any way he has offended you, I, his mother, apologise", she said. Santiago Sanchez was an experienced trekker and crossed 15 countries from Madrid to Qatar to see the World Cup. His journey has so far ended in Iran.

An Iranian human rights NGO added that a 24-year-old woman, Ana Baneira, has been arrested for reasons that have not yet been clarified.

"Don't cry, don't read the Koran"

Two Iranians: Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard have been executed in early December. "Don't cry, don't read the Koran, don't pray, be joyful and listen to music", said Majidreza Rahnavard just before being hung. Those were the first protesters to be sentenced to death in Iran after the beginning of the demonstrations.

Amir Nasr Azadani, an Iranian football player has been detained Sunday. He is suspected by Iran's authorities to have taken part in an "armed group" which would be responsible for the killing of three Iranian security forces.

Nearly one hundred Iranians living in Spain gathered in front of the Islamic Republic's embassy in Madrid, decrying Tehran's brutal crackdown on nationwide protests. Demonstrators staged the hanging of a man to denounce executions of protesters carried out by the Iranian authorities recently.

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