Shin Bet: No evidence of illegal activity by Iran-born blogger; incident is over
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Shin Bet: No evidence of illegal activity by Iran-born blogger; incident is over

Neda Amin was never arrested, was questioned with her consent, security agency says; Amin says ‘this is good news,’ but always knew she’d done nothing wrong

Iran-born blogger Neda Amin, on her arrival in Israel in August 2017 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Iran-born blogger Neda Amin, on her arrival in Israel in August 2017 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s Shin Bet security service, which last month questioned the Iranian-born blogger Neda Amin over suspicions regarding connections with Iran, said in a statement Sunday that no evidence of any illegal activity had been found and that her questioning was over.

Amin was questioned because of her Iranian connections “with her consent, without being detained or arrested,” the Shin Bet statement said. “At the end of her questioning, she was informed that no evidence had been found of any illegal activity whatsoever by her, and that the questioning was at an end.”

No case was closed against Amin, because no case was ever opened, The Times of Israel was told.

Amin, a Times of Israel blogger who was granted entry to Israel last August, said she was pleased to hear about the statement, but always knew she had done nothing wrong.

“This is good news,” she said, “but it should be clear that from the beginning I was sure of myself, I was sure that I was guilty of nothing.”

An Iran-born journalist, blogger and rights activist who was critical of the Iranian regime, Amin was allowed into Israel on humanitarian grounds after she contacted The Times of Israel and said her life was in danger in Turkey. She has since been following official procedures to obtain permanent resettlement rights in Israel.

Last month, a Shin Bet statement said that, since arriving in Israel, Amin had communicated with “Iranian representatives” and was questioned about this by the security service. An Israeli security official said the people with whom Amin was allegedly communicating were in Iran and were not her relatives, the Reuters news agency reported at the time.

The news agency said Amin later explained that she had unwittingly been in contact, in Turkey and in Israel, with a man who, unbeknownst to her, worked for the Iranian government. She told Reuters she was questioned by the Shin Bet for eight days about her contact with this man, whom she had thought was an Israeli intelligence agent.

“A Farsi-speaking man had called her in Turkey, describing himself as an Israeli intelligence officer who wanted to ‘protect’ her from Ankara’s security services,” Reuters reported Amin saying, and he had stayed in touch with her after she was allowed into Israel. They had never met, she said. Whenever he called her, Amin told Reuters, his phone number appeared on her screen with an Israeli prefix.

“They told me I am innocent as I have been in touch with an impostor, without knowing it,” Amin told the news agency. “I have spoken to this man, but I have done nothing against Israel’s security.”

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