Raelian leader held in Turkish deportation center faces grave health threat

"Let all the human rights organizations hear my voice and ask them to

save me from this inhuman environment." Negar Azizmoradi

MONTREAL, Nov. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - According to a statement released today by the International Raelian Movement, Negar Azizmoradi, leader of the Raelian Movement in Iran, has become seriously ill with a severe lung infection while being held in Istanbul's deportation center.

Raelians worldwide are demanding her immediate release and her right to asylum in a neutral country. Protests are organized in front of Turkish Embassies in most major countries and in Canada will be held on Thursday, December 3rd,197 Wurtemburg Street, Ottawa.

"This brave woman was arrested in Turkey a few days ago after escaping from Iran, where she faced a likely death sentence for publicly declaring herself to be an atheist," said Brigitte Boisselier, spokesperson for the International Raelian Movement. "It's bad enough that she had to leave her family and her country because of her beliefs, but she now has a serious lung infection as well. We are asking our worldwide membership to refrain from buying any Turkish products and to protest Turkey's policy until Negar Azizmoradi is free and safe."

Boisselier explained that Azizmoradi's lung condition has deteriorated because Turkish incarceration facilities reek heavily of cigarette and cigar smoke.

"These facilities are extremely unhealthy, crowded and filthy," she said. "No one, not even a real criminal, deserves to suffer such inhumane conditions, but Negar did nothing more than honestly state her beliefs. She should be released immediately to an international human rights agency and then be granted asylum. Already many British and German citizens have offered to welcome and support her."

Boisselier said time is of the essence.

"Every moment counts," she said. "Action needs to be taken very, very soon, because Negar's life is now in serious danger on two fronts rather than one. If she's sent back to Iran, she's certain to receive a death sentence. But if she stays where she is now, her health will continue to deteriorate. Her condition is of great concern to us."

Abdollah Asadi, head of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR), said Azizmoradi told him in a phone conversation that she is being held "in a contaminated ward with extremely nasty bathrooms."

"The way Turkish police treat us is worse than what an animal would do to other animals," the confined Raelian leader told Asadi.

In a subsequent conversation with IFIR officials on Nov. 19, Azizmoradi reported that the Turkish authorities had confiscated all of her belongings, including her laptop computer and camera.

"I kept all of my documents and proof there," she said. "They took everything I had."

Coughing severely and barely able to speak, Azizmoradi pleaded with the IFIR to get her message out.

"Let all the human rights organizations hear my voice and ask them to save me from this inhuman environment," she said.

"Negar's physical suffering and detention in such a disgusting environment because of her beliefs should affect every human conscience deeply," Boisselier said. "Her condition is deteriorating on a daily basis and her life is in grave danger. No civilized country allows such a thing to happen, so the least the Turkish authorities can do is put things right. They need to do that now."

SOURCE Église raëlienne canadienne

For further information: For further information: or interview, contact Stella (514) 793-3126

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