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Iran detains Australia-based population expert on 'infiltration' charges Open in fullscreen

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Iran detains Australia-based population expert on 'infiltration' charges

The academic was arrested as she attempted to leave Iran [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 December, 2018

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An Australian-based academic specialised in population issues has been detained on charges of infiltration as she attempted to leave Iran.

An Australian-based academic has been detained in Iran on charges of infiltration after she reportedly attempted to leave the Islamic Republic, it was reported on Sunday.

Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi is a specialist in populations and was affiliated with the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Reuters reported.

She was arrested as when she attempted to leave Iran, the state news agency IRNA said.

Dual nationals, foreigners and citizens linked to foreign institutions have been arrested in recent months, with conservatives trying to claw back power for moderates.

The end of a nuclear agreement with the US and new sanctions on Iran has seen this trend continue.

Population control is a sensitive issue in Iran, according to Reuters, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for Iranians to have more children, after decades of state-sponsored birth control.

Several experts backing control on the country's fast-growing population are believed to have been detained recently.

"One person has been arrested in this regard... and three or four people are being sought," the Mizan judiciary website reported spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei saying.

IRNA reported last week that the Australian-based academic had been arrested for attempting to "infiltrate" state bodies, reporting that Hosseini-Chavoshi had been detained and did not have a lawyer.

At least 30 dual nationals have been arrested in Iran in recent years, mostly on espionage charges, including British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Iran does not recognise dual nationals.


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