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Iran’s detention of Belgian aid worker a ‘flagrant breach of international law’: EL rights experts

“We are gravely concerned over the mental and physical health of Mister. Vandecasteele and call on the particular Iranian authorities to release him and guarantee his physical and psychological wellbeing, ” the experts said. Mr. Vandecasteele was held in solitary confinement since the earliest days of their detention in Evin prison. After he was relocated to an unknown location in Aug 2022, he was held within a windowless room located in the basement with no furniture. According to reports received by the UN specialists, Mr Vandecasteele has dropped 15 kilos and suffers from serious health problems. In Nov 2022, 10 months after he was arrested, Mister Vandecasteele launched a two-week hunger strike. According to local news reports, Mr. Vandecasteele had been sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment and 74 lashes on charges of espionage contrary to the Islamic Republic, cooperating the United States, currency smuggling, and money laundering.

Held in solitary confinement

In October 2022, at least 21 foreign and dual nationals had been detained, primarily on watching charges. In November, Iran’s judiciary indicated that forty foreign nationals had been imprisoned for their involvement in the protests. Mr. Vandecasteele was arrested on twenty-four February 2022 by Iranian security agents and held at Evin prison just before being moved to an unknown host to detention. He was in Tehran to end his rental agreement and relocate his furnishings at the time of his arrest. In their statement, the UN specialists declared that he had experienced ill-treatment in detention great health condition was critical. The statement to release the many foreign and dual national citizens who remain randomly detained in Iran, and condems the execution upon 14 January of the Uk Iranian, Alireza Akbari after he was sentenced in order to death for “corruption on earth and harming the nation’s internal and external security”.

Mental and physical health issues

In November 2022, recounted the statement, Mr. Vandecasteele informed Belgian consular officials that he had appeared before a courtroom without the knowledge of local Belgian authorities. Iranian lawyers designated to Mr Vandecasteele failed to speak during the trial, yet he was informed that he had been convicted of all charges. On 14 December 2022, Mr. Vandecasteele’s family has been notified that he had been sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment. The UN experts said the Belgian national’s access to a lawyer was refused, that he was not permitted to communicate regularly with his family members, and that he had limited entry to Belgian consular services. According to the statement, Mr. Vandecasteele had been transported blindfolded to Evin prison from his key detention centre to meet with consular officials. “Alireza Akbari was reportedly subjected to torture and ill treatment which includes prolonged solitary confinement plus forced to make false confessions, ” they said. The particular seven men in plain-clothes who arrested him reportedly failed to show an detain warrant and explain the charges against him. Mr. Vandecasteele was subjected to several interrogations, but law enforcement government bodies failed to bring him just before a judge until Nov 2022. “We believe Mr Vandecasteele has been arbitrarily deprived associated with his liberty and is the victim of enforced disappearance for periods of detention, ” the independent UN human rights experts said in a statement. “His directly to a fair trial before a completely independent and impartial tribunal has been violated. These are flagrant infractions of Iran’s obligations under international law, ” someone said.

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