PH Embassy in Iran Repatriates Filipino VAW Survivor
Philippine Embassy officials Vice Consul Lee Gano (rightmost), ATN Officer Rea Sebastian (middle) and Protocol Officer Angelo Malabanan, Jr. (leftmost) send Filipino repatriates, two adults and two infants, in Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran City on 12 August 2021. (Tehran PE photo)
TEHRAN 16 August 2021 — The Philippine Embassy in Iran facilitated the return to Manila from Tehran of a Filipina mother and her two infant children on 12 August 2021, months after being rescued from domestic violence in the hands of foreign national husband.
“Anna”, not her real name, 35, was rescued by the Embassy with the assistance of the Tehran Immigration Police in June 2021 following reports of grave physical abuse from her partner during their unplanned stay in Iran.
The couple went to Iran from a neighboring country for leisure in early 2020 when COVID-19 outbreak suddenly forced closures of borders and restricted inter-country travels in the region, thus leaving them stranded in the country.
“We see our kababayans stuck in a foreign country with limited resources because of the pandemic. Worse, they were subjected to domestic violence, and Violence Against Women or VAW is seen as one of the negative consequences of the pandemic. Mostly mothers and children are confronted with violence and abuse as a result of restriction and lockdowns. Response to pleas for rescue and assistance from survivors must therefore be more alert and coordinated during this unprecedented period of pandemic,” Philippine Ambassador to Iran Wilfredo C. Santos said.
After securing the welfare of “Anna” and her children and facilitating legal actions against the partner, the Embassy coordinated with relevant government authorities in Tehran to obtain the necessary permits for their exit from the country. The Embassy, through the Department’s Assistance-to-Nationals Fund, likewise purchased the plane fares of the mother and children from Tehran to Dubai.
The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai afforded the Filipino repatriates the flight from Dubai to Manila through the former’s chartered flight via Philippine Airlines.
“As flights to Manila have become limited and restricted, chartered flights mounted by the Philippine government has become more critical than ever before. These chartered flights have become a symbol of hope as in the case of “Anna” and our other repatriates who have been raving to be back home after falling victim to the unfortunate consequences of the pandemic,” Ambassador Santos said.
The Embassy also repatriated another distressed Filipino, joining “Anna” and her children in their flight to Manila. END