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Iran: Catherine Colonna calls for the "immediate release" of French "hostages"


The Quai d'Orsay also maintains that the mobilization of the authorities remains "total", while dissension appears with the comi

The words are strong.

Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called on Tuesday for the immediate release by Iran of French "hostages" in the country.

During a brief exchange with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, she again insisted on the respect of "civil and political rights" in Iran and the "non-interference" of Tehran in its neighborhood.

"I spoke to him briefly in the summit room to ask him again for the release of the hostages who are being held by Iran and for full respect for international humanitarian law and international law in general," she said during a press conference following a regional summit on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan.

The ministry also assured that the mobilization of the French authorities to free the seven nationals detained in Iran remained "total", while two support committees are calling on Paris to change strategy.

Relatives of detainees urge EU action

The support committees for Fariba Adelkhah and Benjamin Brière, currently detained in Iran, urged, in an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, coordinated action by European countries.

The support committee of Cécile Kohler, a teacher and trade unionist arrested last May, is however not a signatory of this text, a spokeswoman for the committee said on Tuesday.

Read alsoIran: support committees for French detainees call for coordinated action by Europeans

Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah was arrested in June 2019 and then sentenced to five years in prison for undermining national security.

Benjamin Brière was arrested in May 2020 and sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for espionage.

“It must be recognized that the (French) negotiation strategy pursued until now has not yielded any significant results”, underline their support committees in this letter made public Monday evening.

"We recall that we formally advise against any travel to Iran because of the real risk of arbitrary detention by the authorities of the country," said a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2022-12-20

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