Family claims Iranian intelligence abducted dissident journalist in Ankara

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Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA

Mohammad Bagher Moradi, an Iranian dissident journalist who fled to Turkey nine years ago while on trial in Tehran for reporting against the regime, was abducted by Iranian intelligence services in the capital Ankara , according to his family.

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“My son was a dissident journalist. Iranian intelligence was after him. He was kidnapped by them,” Mohsen Moradi said.

Moradi, who lives in Ankara under international protection, left his home on May 30 telling his family he would buy bread.

However, he did not return and disappeared. His cell phone could not be reached and his car was found abandoned a few kilometers from his home.

The family filed a criminal complaint with the local prosecutor’s office, claiming he had been abducted.

An investigation has been opened into Moradi’s disappearance, but to no avail so far.

Turkey has been a top destination for Iranian dissidents, with some seeking asylum in Turkey and others using Turkey as a transit point to reach European countries.

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In February, Turkish intelligence services arrested 16 Iranian suspects in Istanbul, who were believed to be part of a network to smuggle dissidents back to Iran.

On February 11, Turkish intelligence thwarted an Iranian plan to assassinate Yair Geller, an Israeli businessman living in Istanbul, in retaliation for the killing of Iranian nuclear chief Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in 2020.

In March, Turkish prosecutors called for 30 years in prison for 11 suspects, including an Iranian, accused of planning the kidnapping of Mehrdad Abdarbashi, an Iranian military pilot.

He fled to Turkey and sought asylum after refusing to go to Syria and serve here. According to local reports, a female Iranian intelligence agent was preparing to abduct him after drugging him.

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