According to his mother, a Spanish soccer enthusiast who set out to walk to Qatar to witness the World Cup has been detained in Iran, who lost communication with him for several weeks. To complete the epic trek in time for the tournament on November 20, Santiago Sanchez Cogedor left his hometown in the vicinity of Madrid in January. But it had been about a month since he had spoken to his folks. His health was OK, and the foreign ministry verified that he was being held in Iran, Celia Cogedor said late on Thursday for the Spanish TV station Trece.
Without specifying what he is accused of or where she said the Spanish ambassador to Iran is taking procedures to “ask the Iranian authorities for approval to visit him.”
Cogedor had been posting updates about his travels on Instagram, and in his most recent entry from a town in northern Iraq on October 1, he stated that he was going to enter Iran.
He then went to Bandar Abbas to catch a boat to Qatar after leaving his parents a voicemail informing them that he was traveling to Tehran.
A brutal crackdown by security forces following the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in detention has sparked six weeks of protests in Iran. She broke the nation’s dress code for women when the renowned morality police detained her.
Tehran mostly holds the United States responsible for the protests.
Nine foreigners, including those from France, Italy, and Poland, were reportedly detained last month by Iranian authorities on suspicion of involvement in the protest movement.
In response to an inquiry for comment, the Spanish foreign ministry referred AFP back to Cogedor’s family.