Belgian National Arrested in Iran 

Belgium’s justice minister has confirmed the arrest of a Belgium National accused of “espionage” in Iran.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Agence France-Presse (AFP), Belgium’s Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne confirmed the apprehension of a Belgian man in Iran.

Without revealing the individual’s identity, Van Quickenborne called the detention “illegal.”

Yesterday, Iran International TV Station revealed the identity of the Belgian individual as Olivier Vandecasteele, a 41-year-old aid worker who has served in various international humanitarian organizations since at least 2006.

Iran has frequently detained foreign or dual nationals for political aims such as prisoner swaps or gaining leverage in negotiations with the West.

There are serious concerns about the validity of espionage allegations due to the frequent use of such accusations by Iran, which is to suppress its opponents and the ambiguities in legal proceedings and the lack of transparency.