By Matthew Roscoe •
Updated: 03 Nov 2022 • 13:01
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The German government has called on German citizens to leave Iran.
“There is a concrete danger for German citizens of being arbitrarily arrested, interrogated and sentenced to long prison terms,” it said on the website of the Foreign Office in Berlin on Thursday.
“Dual nationals who hold Iranian citizenship in addition to German citizenship are particularly at risk,” it warned.
A spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office told the German Press Agency: “Today’s departure request is necessary to take account of the changed security situation and the protection of German nationals who are still in the country.”
He added: “The escalating, violent action by the Iranian security forces requires this step.”
The spokesman added that the work and occupation of the German embassy in Tehran will not be affected by the announcement and they are continuing their work in the country.
Germany’s Foreign Office said: “Since September 18, 2022, after the death of a young Iranian woman after being arrested by the moral police in the capital Tehran and in many other parts of the country, there have been protests and clashes with security forces.
“Police and security forces use violence against demonstrators, there are dead and injured. Arbitrary arrests are made in the vicinity of demonstrations, including uninvolved foreign nationals. Extensive restrictions on communication services can be observed (especially mobile Internet, Instagram, WhatsApp, VPNs) and are expected to continue.”
It added: “German nationals are at real risk of being arbitrarily arrested, interrogated and sentenced to long prison terms. There is a particular danger for people who travel individually, for example with a motorcycle, bicycle or mobile home/camper van in or through Iran. There is a risk that luggage will be searched extensively and possibly confiscated.
“In particular, electronic means of communication such as mobile phones, notebooks, tablets, etc. can be subjected to detailed examinations. Routes entered into electronic maps and navigation systems, especially for planning off-road trips, can be interpreted by the Iranian security authorities as evidence of spying and espionage attempts. Not all restricted areas are clearly marked.
“Even people who were able to enter and leave the country without any problems in the past can be arbitrarily arrested on a renewed visit on the basis of allegations from a long time ago or new ones. Criminal law provisions are often formulated so vaguely that a large number of possible behaviours can be recorded without it having to be clear to the person concerned beforehand. Case law is sometimes clearly politically motivated.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com.
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