From Tehran to St. John's: An Iranian dissident's harrowing 6-month journey to safety

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Iranian human rights activist Atena Daemi didn’t want to leave her native country — even after spending six years in prison and being subjected to physical and psychological torture.

But in 2022, her multiple sclerosis (MS) had advanced to such a degree that her physician told her she needed to seek medical care abroad.

“I never thought about leaving Iran, even through my darkest days of imprisonment,” said Daemi, 35, in a recent interview with CBC. “I wouldn’t have left, if it wasn’t for my MS.”

And so she undertook a perilous and unpredictable six-month journey that took her from Tehran to St.

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