French Tourist Benjamin Briere Sentenced to Eight Years In Prison

Jailed French Tourist Benjamin Briere Sentenced to Eight Years Imprisonment by the Revolutionary Court

On January 25, Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad sentenced Benjamin Briere to eight years in prison. The court session had been held on January 20.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists,  French tourist Benjamin Briere who is jailed in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad City, was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of “spying” and “propaganda against the regime”. Two other charges of “spreading corruption on earth” and “drinking alcohol” were already dismissed by the court.

Briere’s lawyer, Saeed Dehghan, tweeted that “1. Just before the trial, they changed the branch where the court was going to be held, 2. the trial was not public and 3. it was quite obvious that the judge has already taken a position, 3. They mentioned the word “exchange” (apparently referring to a prisoner swap with the French government) which reveals their intention”.

Briere has been in pre-trial detention for almost 600 days.

In late December of 2021, he was denied making a phone call to his family on Christmas night and in protest, went on hunger strike.

In May 2020, Briere was arrested by security forces and has since been jailed in Vakilabad Prison.

According to Dehghan, these charges were based on actions such as taking aerial photos with a remote-controlled helicam and posing questions such as “why is the veil (Hijab) forced in Iran but not other Islamic countries”.

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