x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

French academic freed from Iranian prison

The French academic who is part of a mass trial in Iran has been freed from prison on bail and turned over to the French embassy.

PARIS // The French academic who is part of a mass trial in Iran has been freed from prison on bail and turned over to the French embassy in good health, French leaders said, urging that charges against her be dropped. The French president Nicolas Sarkozy said "that nothing can justify" the case against Clotilde Reiss, 24, and an embassy employee, who are accused of fanning a revolt aimed at bringing down Iran's Islamic rulers. The president spoke with Ms Reiss as soon as she left Tehran's Evin prison and reported that she was in good health and spirits, his office said in a statement. Mr Sarkozy "noted the dignity and courage with which Clotilde Reiss has faced this challenge", the statement said.

The foreign minister Bernard Kouchner later said on the iTele TV station that bail was paid but that the sum was "not enormous". While she stays at the embasssy, Ms Reiss will prepare her defence "to make her innocence known", Mr Kouchner said in a statement. Like Mr Sarkozy, he reiterated that the charges against her and the French-Iranian embassy employee, Nazak Afshar, are "unfounded". Ms Reiss was arrested on July 1 and jailed after attending a post-election demonstration at the end of a five-month teaching job in the city of Isfahan. Ms Reiss and Mr Afshar went on trial on August 8 alongside more than 100 others. All were charged with fomenting revolt following Iran's disputed presidential elections.

* AP