Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei recognized as refugee in Germany

The refugee status gives him the right to legally and safely live in Germany, where he is now training.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
November 3, 2019 02:14
1 minute read.
Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei

Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who had requested aslyum in Germany after the Tokyo 2019 World Championships, received an official notice from the German Office for Migration and Refugees that he had received "Recognized Refugee" status, according to the Internation Judo Federation.

The refugee status gives him the right to legally and safely live in Germany, where he is now training. 
"I am very happy and I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everybody who helped me in those difficult moments," said Mollaei after the news was announced. "Now I can fully concentrate on judo and the preparation for the next IJF events and for the Olympic Games."


Mollaei still needs to obtain permission to travel and take part in competitions on the World Judo Tour to collect points on the World Ranking List.


In August, Mollaei requested asylum in Germany because of fears that he and his family would be subjected to violence by the Islamic Republic if he faced Israeli Judoka Sagi Muki, who went on to win the world championship in Tokyo.


In interviews given after he won the world title, Muki refused to speak of Mollaei’s situation and praised him as an outstanding human being and a top athlete.


Iran has been banned indefinitely from international judo competition until it can give strong guarantees that its athletes will be allowed to face Israelis.


Reuters contributed to this report.


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