Kameel Ahmady: British academic facing jail escapes Iran over mountains

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A British-Iranian academic facing nine years in jail in Iran has told the BBC how he escaped on foot over mountains to start a new life in the UK.

Kameel Ahmady was convicted two months ago of collaborating with a hostile government. He denies the charge.

He decided to try to flee while on bail and appealing against the sentence.

Mr Ahmady trekked over a mountainous border to escape the Revolutionary Guards – a journey he described as “very long, very dark and very scary”.

Mr Ahmady was born of Kurdish stock in western Iran. But his parents sent him to Britain when he was 18 for his education.

He remained there many years, studying at the University of Kent and the London School of Economics. Such was his affection for Britain that he applied for British citizenship before returning to Iran as an anthropologist.

His research focuses on child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iran. This brought him to the attention of the authorities because he campaigned to raise the age at which girls can marry, which is currently set at 13 years old.


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