French lose eight-year proceeding in Iranian prison

Iran’s Tehran — Iran’s Court of Appeals upheld a French tourist’s eight-year imprisonment for taking pictures in a banned area and asking about Islamic hijab required by Iranian women, his lawyer Said on Tuesday.

Benjamin Briere, 36, was arrested in May 2020 and sentenced to January. He went on a hunger strike on December 25, protesting his treatment in prison in the northeastern city of Mashad, where he was detained.

His Iranian lawyer, Saeed Dehghan, said on Twitter that “a sentence of eight years and eight months in prison for French tourist Benjamin Briere has been finalized.”

At the time of Briere’s decision, Paris-based lawyer Philip Valent said the Revolutionary Court in Iran had sentenced him to eight years for espionage and eight months for anti-government propaganda. Iran’s law actually applies a long part.

Briere was detained for taking pictures in a desert area where photography is prohibited and asking on social media about the Islamic scarf required for Iranian women.

Rights groups have accused Iran’s security agency hardliners of using foreign detainees as a tip for monetary negotiations or as an influence on negotiations with the West. Tehran denies it, but there have been prisoner exchanges in the past.

Other French citizens detained in Iran include Cecile Kohler (37) and Chuck Paris (69), who were arrested on May 7, after protesting Iranian teachers and attending anti-government rallies. It will be. France has identified the two as a teacher’s union officer and her partner on vacation in Iran.

Also in January, Iranian judicial authorities ordered the re-imprisonment of Franco Iranian scholar Fariba Adelkhah, who was arrested in 2019. Adelkhah was once allowed to be sentenced to five years in prison under the arrest of his home. She was accused of “propaganda against the Islamic republican political system” and “collusion to undermine national security.”

Briere was charged with “cooperating with foreign hostile countries against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Dehghan said in January. On Tuesday, Iranian courts once again called France a “hostile country.”

France, along with other world powers, is in talks with Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Associated Press