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Frenchman Held in Iran Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

November 8, 2023
1 min read
Louis Arnaud was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court on charges of making propaganda against and seeking to harm the security of the Islamic Republic, the family said in a statement on November 8, insisting that he was innocent of the charges
Louis Arnaud was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court on charges of making propaganda against and seeking to harm the security of the Islamic Republic, the family said in a statement on November 8, insisting that he was innocent of the charges

An Iranian court has handed down a five-year prison sentence to a French tourist arbitrarily jailed in the country for more than a year, his family says, denouncing the verdict as "an attack on human rights and individual freedoms."

Louis Arnaud was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court on charges of making propaganda against and seeking to harm the security of the Islamic Republic, the family said in a statement on November 8, insisting that he was innocent of the charges.

Arnaud, a banking consultant, was detained in Iran in September last year after crossing Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. He is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.

In its statement, the family described him as a "passionate traveler" who had long wanted to visit Iran.

"Unfortunately, his dream turned into a nightmare when he was unjustly targeted, imprisoned, and now convicted on baseless charges, stripping him of his freedom and rights."

It insisted he had "kept a distance from the social movements that were starting" while in Iran, in reference to the nationwide protests that erupted in September 2022.

"At no time did he act with political intentions or carelessness."

The family said that Arnaud has lodged an appeal against the verdict.

An online petition calling for his release has gathered more than 126,000 signatures.

He is one of at least a dozen foreign nationals held by the Islamic Republic in what activists and Western governments have described as a hostage-taking policy aimed at extracting concessions from the West.

Aside from Arnaud, three other French citizens are held by Iran.

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