Iranians held captive in Athens

An Iranian journalist who managed to escape from an apartment in central Athens where she was being held captive has testified that she and another five people were tortured for a period of five months by two compatriots. The unnamed 28-year-old alleged that she had asked the elder of the two suspects, aged 43, to help her flee Iran, where she claims that she was a victim of political persecution.

The 43-year-old, with the help of his 24-year-old brother, managed to get the young woman, together with her husband and another family of four, into Turkey and then into Greece, in exchange for 16,000 euros.

The 43-year-old, who is wanted by Interpol, allegedly kept the group hostage in an apartment in the Athens neighborhood of Kolonos due to fears that they would reveal his whereabouts to authorities. He also allegedly subjected them regularly to torture.

The six captives managed to escape in February and made their way to the police station in Omonia Square. The two brothers have been arrested and face a string of charges as well as possible extradition to Iran.