MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine government has granted the asylum request of Iranian beauty queen Bahareh Zare Bahari.
“You are hereby informed that you are recognized as a refugee under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in a decision, dated 06 November 2019,” read the resolution issued by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Refugee and Stateless Persons Protection Unit.
Bahari arrived in Manila mid-October but she was prohibited from leaving the airport because of a red notice from the International Police (Interpol) after she was criminally charged in her home country.
As a refugee, if she has no passport, visa stamping is not required “on account of the exceptional circumstance that refugees are under.” When she reported to the Bureau of Immigration, she is free from payment of alien registration and immigration fees. If she needs to work, it will be the DOJ’s Refugee and Stateless Persons Protection Unit that will provide a Certification for Exemption on Alien Work Permit from the Department of Labor and Employment. The DOJ will also be the one to make recommendations to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) if she needs travel documents.
Bahari has stayed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for over 20 days. She only exited the airport premises Thursday afternoon or two days after the DOJ resolution was issued.
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