Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at UN 370 (R).
(photo credit: Mike Segar / Reuters)
A cameraman who traveled to New York with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the United Nations last week has defected, Foreign Policy magazine's Turtle Bay blog and the NY Daily News reported Monday.
Hassan Gol Khanban's lawyer told Turtle Bay the Iranian man has long worked for an official Iranian news agency. When Ahmadinejad's delegation left New York late last week, he went into hiding.
The man's family was outside of Iran, the lawyer said.
"He is seeking political asylum on behalf of his belief, and obviously the fact that he defected makes him automatically an enemy of the regime," the man's lawyer, New York-based attorney Paul O'Dwyer told Turtle Bay. "He was "opposed to how the regime treats people, the level of repression that exists there."
“We know fairly well when the Iranian regime is going to punish you, that means anything from being tortured or killed to having you family disappeared," O'Dwyer told the NY Daily News
Khanban is in hiding, the lawyer added.