Iran: French visitors invited to leave the country “as soon as possible”

The French “passing through Iran are invited to leave the country as soon as possible given the risk of arbitrary detention to which they are exposed”alerted the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday October 7 in an update of travel advice on its site.

“Any French visitor, including binationals, is exposed to a high risk of arrest, arbitrary detention and unfair trial”added the ministry, specifying that “this risk also concerns people making a simple tourist visit”, and that “in the event of arrest or detention, respect for fundamental rights and the safety of persons are not guaranteed”.

The families “without any news” of the French detainees

On Thursday, Iranian state television broadcast what it presented as “confession” spying on two Frenchmen arrested in May and accused of“breach of security”. In the trailer of a documentary, we saw a woman appearing speaking in French, who claimed to be Cécile Kohler and to be an operational intelligence officer at the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence service. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quick to react, deploring “a staging that is unworthy, revolting, unacceptable and contrary to international law”.

The day after the broadcast of this video, the families of the French couple alerted Friday to “inhuman conditions of detention (…) on spurious grounds”with a “unimaginable psychological pressure”. “We are devastated, exhausted and terrified”write in a statement sent to AFP the families of Jacques Paris and Cécile Kohler, claiming to be “without any news” of their loved ones, and fearing that they will be “kept in solitary confinement with the only human contact being that of their jailers and interrogators”. The couple is “deprived of lawyers and consular access is constantly denied to them”also specifies the press release.

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