Iran: French tourist Benjamin Brière goes on trial for spying charges

A French tourist, Benjamin Brière, 36, has been gone on the trail, according to his lawyer. He was charged with espionage and has been held in Iran since 2020.

A French tourist, Benjamin Brière, 36, has been gone on the trail, according to his lawyer. He was charged with espionage and has been held in Iran since 2020.

He was arrested following flying a drone near the Iran-Turkmenistan border. His Iran-based lawyer, Saeed Dehghan, has implied that he may receive a jail term if authorities convict him.

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His second lawyer, Philippe Valent, informed that Mr Brière has been on the hunger strike since December and because of the same, he has become weak and fragile.

Mr Brière’s lawyer Valent and his sister said that the verdict might be issued on Saturday. They further mentioned that he has been behind the closed doors in the Revolutionary Court in the eastern city of Mashhad, where he has been held.

Reportedly, his sister said that the family had very little information, and they only knew is that the hearing would take place and the verdict would be issued on Saturday. She further said he is innocent, and the governments have been using him as a political pawn.

Recently, his Iranian lawyer tweeted in Persian and wrote that the court had been propagating against the system and had upheld espionage charges.

He further tweeted that the court may use him (French tourist) in a prisoner swap and wrote, “Using the word #exchange, they made their stance clear”.

Earlier this week, his lawyer Valent said that his client is unaware of the charges against him.

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Earlier, while informing about his arrest in May 2020, the French foreign ministry said that Mr Brière was arrested while he was spending his holiday in Iran.

This incident has come into light amid the tensions between Iran and Western powers. For several months, four nations – Iran, France, Germany and the UK have been conducting debates in Vienna and have been trying to restore an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear activities.

So far, the talk has been inconclusive, and the foreign powers have been claiming that Iran’s statement does not convince them that its nuclear programme is just for peaceful purposes.

Tariq Saeed

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