DOJ grants refugee status to former Miss Iran stranded at NAIA

(Eagle News)–The Department of Justice has granted the request by the Iranian beauty queen who was denied entry to the Philippines and has been stranded in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to be recognized as a refugee.

In a letter to Bahareh Zare Bahari, Rosario Elena Laborte-Cuevas, officer-in-charge of the Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Unit, Rosario Elena Laborte-Cuevas, said the recognition was given to the former Miss Iran under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol.

Laborte-Cuevas said the notice of recognition was “pursuant to the order” of  Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

“In this connection, we have notified the Bureau of Immigration that you are a refugee..,” Laborte-Cuevas said.

She added she also asked the BI  to implement the following actions when the Iranian beauty reports to that bureau for registration, “free from payment and alien registration and immigration fees”:

– Issuance and stamping of 47b visa on passport

– issuance of alien certificate of registration

– capture of fingerprints and such other requirements

“If you intend to work, the office can provide you a certification for exemption on alien work permit from the Department of Labor and Employment,” Laborte-Cuevas said.

She said the DOJ would also recommend to the Department of Foreign Affairs the issuance of a travel document for the former Miss Iran should she require it.

Bahare was denied reentry to the Philippines on Oct. 16  on the basis of a red notice from the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

The notice was for allegedly assaulting another Iranian.

Bahare  had said she fears for her life if she goes back to Iran, saying she  believes a high-ranking official of the Iran embassy is closely monitoring her in the Philippines for her role in anti-government activities in Iran to promote women. With a report from Moira Encina