Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Iran pardons, frees Irish-French citizen jailed for security crime

Iran’s Embassy in Dublin said Tehran has pardoned and freed a French-Irish citizen serving time in prison for national security-related crimes.

In a tweet on Thursday, the diplomatic mission said Bernard Phelan had been released from jail “on consular and humanitarian grounds.”

“Constructive diplomatic engagement between Iran and Ireland has resulted in pardoning and releasing of the Irish citizen, Bernard Phelan, on consular and humanitarian grounds,” read the post.

Phelan was arrested in October in the northeastern city of Mashhad as the country was grappling with a wave of protests and riots over the death of young women in police custody.

He is said to have been taking photographs of police officers and a mosque that had been burned.

The 64-year-old, who was traveling on a French passport, was found guilty of “providing information to an enemy country,” and sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

In a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin thanked Tehran for pardoning Phelan on Thursday.

Iran arrested several foreign nationals in the course of the unrest and deadly riots that broke out in September 2022 and went on for several months.

The Islamic Republic’s intelligence organs said they had found links between foreign spy services, especially those in the West, with the turmoil in the country.

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