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Belgian man held in Iran for 4 months on ‘espionage’ charges

Belgian man held in Iran for 4 months on ‘espionage’ charges

Belgian man held in Iran for 4 months on ‘espionage’ charges

Belgium last year imprisoned an Iranian diplomat after his conviction under “terrorist” charges – Google

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  • Belgium’s justice minister says Iran has been holding a Belgian citizen on “espionage” allegations for four months.
  • The man was taken into custody in Iran on February 24 and has been held there “illegally” since then, Vincent Van Quickenborne said.

BRUSSELS: The Belgian justice minister revealed on Tuesday that Iran has been holding a Belgian citizen on “espionage” allegations for the past four months, as his country considered a controversial prisoner swap agreement with Tehran.

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The man was taken into custody in Iran on February 24 and has been held there “illegally” since then, Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne told Belgian MPs without giving the man’s name.

Belgium last year imprisoned an Iranian diplomat for 20 years after his conviction on “terrorist” charges for plotting a bomb attack outside Paris in 2018.

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While Quickenborne did not give the detained Belgian’s identity, Iran International, a Saudi-financed media outlet based in London, reported that a 41-year-old Belgian former aid worker is being detained in Iran.

The outlet said the Belgian’s arrest appeared to be another instance of Iran “imprisoning foreigners as hostages to exchange them with certain Iranians jailed in Western countries”.

Among those Iran is holding is a Swedish academic who also holds Iranian citizenship, Ahmadreza Djalali, who taught at a Brussels university. Iran also applied “espionage” charges to Djalali and has sentenced him to death.

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