May 31, 2021
Spying charges brought by Iran against Frenchman Benjamin Briere are “incomprehensible,” the foreign ministry in Paris said on Sunday.
He was on holiday in the Islamic Republic, the ministry said, adding it “knew nothing likely to back up” the charges.
Briere, born in 1985, was arrested in Iran in May 2020, allegedly while flying a drone and taking photographs in a prohibited area.
Espionage is punishable by death in Iran, while the charge of “propaganda against the system” can incur a prison sentence of three months to one year.
Lawyer Said Dehghan, who also represents another French national held in the country, told AFP the investigation had been completed and the prosecution had confirmed the charges.
“The prosecutor is preparing the indictment and sending it to the revolutionary court for the continuation of the judicial process,” Dehghan said.