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Iranian beauty queen receives asylum grant from the Philippine government

Finally, after being held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Iranian beauty queen received an early Christmas gift from the Philippine government as she was granted political asylum.

Bahareh Zare Bahari was denied entry into the Southeast Asian nation on October 17 when she returned from Dubai, citing to an Interpol "red notice" issued by Iran. She claimed Tehran would punished her for opposition to Iran's theocratic regime.

The Department of Justice recognized Bahari as a refugee on 6 November and ordered her to report to the Bureau of Immigration so she could be issued visa and registration certificate.

Prior to asylum grant, rights group Amnesty International had urged the Philippines authorities not to deport Bahri, describing her as "a vocal critic of the Iranian authorities and a public opponent of forced veiling".

Bahari said she had lived in the Philippines since 2014, where she studied dentistry and also started her modelling and acting career. She represented Iran at the Miss Intercontinental beauty pageant in Manila last year, and claimed Tehran wanted her deported because she was very vocal in favour of Iranian women's rights. 

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