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Italy releases arrested Iranian dissident

12 agosto 2016 | 11.38
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Lake Como - FOTOGRAMMA

Italian authorities have freed from jail Iranian blogger Mehdi Khosravi after detaining him last week near Lake Como on an international arrest warrant issued by the Islamic Republic for alleged corruption, Khosravi's lawyer told Adnkronos International (AKI).

"My client was released at 1 pm on Thursday," Nicola Canestrini said, adding that Khosravi should be tried in Europe for the alleged graft charges and not be extradited to Iran.

Khosravi was arrested at a hotel in the lakeside town of Dorio on Saturday while vacationing with friends and lives in the United Kingdom.

"We would like a trial to take place. It is in our interest to obtain a ruling that rejects his extradition and which confirms that Iran is a regime that persecutes its political opponents," Canestrini told AKI.

Rights activists including the son of the late shah of Iran had urged the Italian government not to extradite Khosravi to his homeland, claiming he faced torture and execution there.

"Any attempt to force Mr Khosravi's return to Iran will lead to his incarceration, torture and possible conviction and execution as a political and human rights opponent of the regime," Reza Pahlavi wrote to Italian premier Matteo Renzi in a letter published on social media.

The UK granted Khosravi asylum after he fled the 2009 purges following Iran's rigged presidential poll that returned hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, Pahlavi said.

Pahlavi heads the Paris-based National Council of Iran, a group that  advocates for free and fair elections in Iran.

His father, the last shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was deposed during the 1979 Islamic Revolution and died in Egypt in 1980.

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