Ana Baneira Suarez

Ana Baneira Suarez

Spanish NGO Employee


Ana Baneira Suarez works for a nongovernmental organization that focuses on human rights. She arrived in Iran on September 6, 2022, while backpacking after touring Georgia and Armenia. Shortly thereafter, widespread protests broke out in Iran following the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini in the custody of the Morality Police. Baneira has said that she did not participate in the protests.


Baneira was arrested in October 2022, shortly after requesting an extension of her visa. She was accused of espionage.

Treatment in Captivity

Baneira told the press following her release that the authorities had not told her the charges against her for many days. Her discomfort was compounded by the fact that she was unable to speak with other prisoners, who did not speak English. “At the start, the uncertainty made it very hard. You fear you'd be accused of spying, which ended up happening. You keep hoping that you’ll be freed because you've done nothing wrong. The problem is that days go by and they don't release you, so you force yourself into thinking you'll get out.”

The Spanish ambassador to Iran reportedly visited Baneira several times during her detention.


The Iranian authorities released Baneira in February 2023, shortly after the Spanish foreign minister called his Iranian counterpart to request her release. Baneira returned to Spain.

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