Thursday, April 18, 2024

Belgian court upholds prisoner exchange treaty with Iran

Belgium's Constitutional Court has turned down a request for the annulment of a treaty with Iran, which authorizes the exchange of prisoners between the two countries.

“The Court rejects the action for annulment,” the tribunal said in a press release on Friday.

In line with the deal, Iranians convicted in Belgium would be allowed to serve their sentences at home and vice versa.

The treaty could lead to the release of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat, who has been illegally imprisoned in the European country.

In February 2021, a Belgian court sentenced Assadi to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO).

An anti-Iran terrorist cult, the MKO is responsible for killing around 12,000 Iranians through acts of terror since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Following the sentencing, Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the jail term as completely unlawful, in violation of Assadi’s diplomatic immunity, and a result of Belgium’s falling under the influence of the MKO.

“Unfortunately, Belgium and some [other] European countries have taken such illegal and unjustifiable actions [against Assadi] under the influence of the atmosphere that has been created by the hostile MKO terrorist group on Europe’s soil,” the ministry announced at the time.

Belgium’s parliament ratified the treaty back last July.

The so-called “National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),” an umbrella group of anti-Iran outfits such as the MKO, has been trying to pose some legal challenges to it, alleging that Assadi should remain in prison.

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