Iranian beauty queen granted refugee status in PH 1
Iranian beauty queen granted refugee status in PH 2

REFUGEE. Iranian beauty queen Bahareh Zare Bahari (2nd from left) is now free to go out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after she was granted refugee status by the Philippine government on Wednesday (Nov. 6, 2019). Bahari has been held for a week at the airport after Iran sought an Interpol Red Notice on her for assault charges. (Contributed photo)

MANILA — An Iranian beauty queen seeking asylum in the Philippines has been granted refugee status and is now allowed to go out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dentistry in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for a week at the airport after Iran sought an Interpol Red Notice on her for assault charges.

Bahari’s counsels from Martelino Bacungan & Associates said their client sought temporary shelter at a local hotel.

In a “notice of recognition” order dated November 6, the Department of Justice (DOJ) informed Bahari that she is “recognized as a refugee under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol”.

Under the terms of the notice, Bahari is entitled to the issuance and stamping of 47(b) visa on the passport, the issuance of an alien certification of registration (ACR)-I card free from payment of alien registration and immigration fees.

“If you intend to work, this Office can provide you a certification for exemption on Alien Work Permit from the Department of Labor and Employment,” the notice said.

The notice was signed by Senior State Counsel Rosario Elena A. Laborte-Cuevas of the DoJ’s Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Unit (RSPPU). (PNA)