Concern mounts around Bernard Phelan.
This 64-year-old Franco-Irish, tourism consultant, has been detained since October in Vakilabad prison in Mashad, Iran's second city.
The authorities accuse him in particular of disseminating anti-regime propaganda.
They also accuse him of having taken pictures of members of the security services.
Charges that the man disputes.
This Wednesday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was "extremely worried" about him, said his spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre.
Her state of health is "fragile and requires appropriate medical monitoring which is not provided in her place of detention", she laments.
And for good reason.
According to his sister, Caroline, Bernard Phelan, who had been on a hunger strike since the beginning of the year, began a thirst strike on Monday.
"He's already not well.
He lost weight,” she said, noting that she and her 97-year-old father were “extremely worried.”
He suffers from heart disease
In the “Irish Times”, Irish national daily, she says: “He is very sick now.
He's got heart trouble, he's got bone trouble.
He drank tea and drinks containing sugar.
Now he has stopped that and we are very worried.
It can be fatal”.
Irishman now on 'thirst strike' in Iranian jail as fears for welfare grow https://t.co/jUqAQe3SiY
— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) January 17, 2023
Caroline assures him, “he is an Irish citizen who has nothing against Iran”.
“We want them to let him go.
It is in no one's interest to keep him prisoner.
(…) All he was doing was promoting Iran as a tourist destination,” she insists.
He was arrested while he was on a "study trip", she told AFP.
"He was not tried" but was arrested on the pretext that he was spreading anti-Iranian regime propaganda, she said.
The Quai d'Orsay "multiplies, in connection with the Irish government, the steps with Iran" so that Bernard Phelan is released "without delay", assured Anne-Claire Legendre for her part.
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A rally in support of the seven French people detained in Iran, including Bernard Phelan, will be held on January 28 in Paris on the Place du Trocadéro.
The support committees and those close to several French people want to warn about "the inhuman conditions of detention inflicted on them".
The families of the French detainees are increasingly worried as the winter makes the conditions of detention increasingly difficult.
An icy cold reigns in the glassless cells.