French citizen Benjamin Briere has been released from prison in Iran. Catherine Colonna, the French foreign minister, attributed the freedom of Briere to diplomatic negotiations between Iran and France.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA News Agency, French citizen Benjamin Briere was released from prison.
Today, Irish-French citizen Bernard Phelan was also released from prison. In a separate statement, Colonna revealed that she spoke with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian about their release, and Brier and Phelan are on their way back to France.
In May 2020, Briere was arrested by security forces. According to Figaro, he was arrested for flying a small drone in a deserted area in Iran.
On January 25, 2022, after being detained for over 600 days in detention at Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad City, Briere was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for “espionage and propaganda against the regime” by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad. Two other charges of “spreading corruption on earth” and “alcohol drinking” was dismissed by the court. In July of the last year, this verdict was upheld on appeal.