In Iran, an airliner with the wife and daughter of the former Iranian soccer Bundesliga professional Ali Daei has been diverted on board: The Mahan Air company’s plane, which had started in Tehran and was bound for Dubai (United Arab Emirates), had to land on the Iranian island of Kish. There, Daei’s relatives were asked to get off.
According to the Isna news agency, the former player from Arminia Bielefeld, Bayern Munich and Hertha BSC said his daughter and his wife were “taken off the plane but not arrested”. He is now trying to organize their return to Tehran. “I really don’t know what the reason for this decision is. My wife and daughter wanted to travel to Dubai for a few days,” the 53-year-old was quoted as saying.
1998: Daei (back, 3rd from left) is the second most successful international goalscorer in the world with 109 goals for Iran’s national team
Ali Daei had repeatedly criticized the government in recent months. He also supported the protest movement in his home country. In September, Daei called on the government on social media to “solve the problems of the Iranian people instead of using repression, violence and arrests”.
“Disruption of the Peace”
In October, Daei reported that his passport was confiscated by police on his return from abroad before he was able to get it back a few days later. Daei later said he did not travel to the World Cup in Qatar because of the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on the protests. In early December, Daei’s jewelry store and restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in northern Tehran were closed by state order for “collaborating with anti-revolutionary groups in cyberspace to disrupt the peace,” it said.
The protests in Iran were triggered by the death of the young Kurd Mahsa Amini in mid-September. The 22-year-old died after being arrested by the so-called vice police for improperly wearing a headscarf. According to international human rights organizations, more than 450 people have died in the course of the protests and thousands of demonstrators have been arrested.
wa/pgr (afp, sid)