French detainees Cécile Kohler and Jacques Paris face possible trial for espionage

French detainees Cecile Kohler and Jacques Paris face possible trial

It has been almost 500 days since French teacher and trade unionist Cécile Kohler has been detained in Iran with her partner Jacques Paris. On Tuesday, September 12, Iranian justice announced the end of the investigation against them, paving the way for their possible trial for espionage, but without indicating a date.

3 mins

Iranian justice indicated Tuesday that the investigation into two French people arrested in 2022 in Iran, the teacher Cécile Kohler and her companion Jacques Paris, had been completed, opening the way to a possible trial for “espionage”. “ A man and a woman, both French citizens, were arrested for spying against Iran “, declared the spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, Massoud Satayshi, during a press conference.

Their case was referred to the competent court after a thorough investigation. An indictment has been issued “, he added, without giving details. “ Their lawyers have reviewed their case twice and, when new information becomes available, we will communicate it “, continued the spokesperson.

Very little communication with the two inmates

Cécile Kohler, French teacher and trade unionist, and Jacques Paris, retiree, were arrested on May 7, 2022 while they were sightseeing in Iran. Their relatives have repeatedly organized gatherings in France to demand their release and denounce their conditions of detention “ extremely difficult » at Evin prison in Tehran.

Noémie, Cécile Kohler’s sister and spokesperson for the “Liberty for Cécile” support committee, is all the more worried because she and her family have had very little news from Cécile since her arrest, explains our correspondent in Strasbourg. , Wyloën Munhoz-Boillot. Their last telephone exchange dates back to August 23.

Since March, she has been allowed to call us very randomly, every five to six weeks. These are very short calls, less than 10 minutes, of very poor quality. So, we have difficulty communicating and she is under close surveillance. So, in fact, we don’t know much about his actual conditions of detention. These calls mainly consist of giving us news about the family because they need it to keep going. She tries to reassure us, she tells us: “I’m holding on, don’t worry, it’s okay.” But we feel that she is trying to reassure us and we know, from the testimonies of other prisoners, that these are still extremely harsh conditions. So we expect the worst. »

Dozens of other foreigners also detained in Iran

Besides Cécile Kohler and Jacques Paris, two other French people are still detained in Iran, the consultant Louis Arnaud, arrested on September 28, 2022 in Tehran, and another whose identity has never been made public. “ Nothing justifies detention ” of the ” French nationals in prisons and in unacceptable conditions in Iran “, declared President Emmanuel Macron in a speech on August 28.

Other European countries and human rights activists accuse Tehran of detain dozens of foreigners in a blackmail strategy. Another Frenchman, Benjamin Brière, and a Franco-Irish national, Bernard Phelanwere released in May for “ humanitarian reasons “.

Read alsoIran announces prisoner exchange agreement with the United States

(and with AFP)