After 15 months of difficult detention in Iran, Olivier Vandecasteele has finally found his relatives, Friday, May 26, in Belgium. “His first words were words of thanks. He was extremely touched to also see all the members of the government and all the press who were present”, says one of his friends. The 42-year-old Belgian humanitarian was exchanged for Assadollah Asadi, an Iranian diplomat sentenced to 20 years in prison in Belgium for an attempted terrorist attack on French soil.
“The right to life of an innocent prevailed”
“He is happy to note that it is the right to life of an innocent person who prevailed and guided our authorities in their decision”, welcomed his lawyer, Chloé Georgiev. Today, 35 European nationals, including four French, are still detained in Iran. Their relatives accuse Tehran of using them as a means of pressure and a bargaining chip.