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Exclusive: Detained French tourist Benjamin Briere goes on hunger strike in Iran

اعتصاب غذای بنجامین بریر گردشگر فرانسوی گروگان در ایران!
posted onDecember 27, 2021

Benjamin Briere, a French tourist detained in Iran since May last year, has gone on hunger strike in Mashhad's Vakilabad Prison, a source has informed AvaToday.

Briere has been on hunger strike since Saturday, December 25, in protest against maltreatment and being denied phone calls to his family during Christmas.

He has not been allowed to talk to his family for Christmas despite being told earlier by the prison's head that he would be given permission to do so.

Benjamin Briere, a 35-year-old French national, was arrested in May 2020 while on holiday in Iran. He has been charged with "espionage" and "propaganda against the state", for allegedly flying a drone and taking pictures in a forbidden region, and for questioning Iran's mandatory hijab laws on social media.

According to his lawyer Saeed Dehghan, the charges brought against him were for taking photographs in a prohibited area.

Reuters has reported that Briere was arrested after "flying a helicam" in the desert near the Turkmenistan-Iran border.

In May this year, Briere's sister published an open letter to French president Emmanuel Macron urging the government to intervene.

The charges brought against Briere are basically without any supporting evidence and he has practically been detained for the last 19 months in Iran as a hostage.