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France Shows Concern over Course of Events in Iran

France Shows Concern over Course of Events in Iran

Sunday, 29 January, 2023 - 10:45
Demonstrators hold pictures of French detainees in Iran during a protest in Paris (Reuters)

Dozens of protesters have gathered at the place du Trocadero in Paris in a show of support for French nationals detained in Iran. The detainees have been described as “hostages” by the French government, which confirmed that seven French nationals were being held in Iranian prisons such as Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

The demonstration gathering came at the invitation of the families of the hostages and the committees supporting them.

Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah was arrested in June 2019 and condemned to five years in prison for posing a threat to national security. Benjamin Brière was arrested in May 2020 and sentenced to eight years in prison for spying.

Member of the teachers’ trade union, Cécile Kholer, was also forced to confess under duress to her and her husband being agents of foreign French intelligence.

In a joint statement, the families, support committees, and the Human Rights League in France stated that “fake accusations” had been brought against the “arbitrarily” detained hostages, who were “deprived of the most basic rights, the first of which is a fair trial.”

The statement referred to the “inhumane conditions” the hostages are suffering in detention centers.

Besides those detained being denied contact with their families, a few of them are being held in solitary confinement, which has a significant impact on their physical and psychological health.

The families also called for the immediate release of the prisoners as they are facing “false charges.”

The abovementioned rally is not the first of its kind. One of its main drivers is pressuring the French government to act at all levels to return their citizens to their country.

Paris said on Wednesday that Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna had demanded the “immediate release of the seven French hostages arbitrarily detained” by Tehran in telephone talks with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

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