x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Iran free French demonstrator held since July

Lawyer says decision to release Clotilde Reiss follows payment of $285,000 fine.

France's presidency says a young French academic arrested in Iran following last year's disputed presidential elections has left the country and is on a plane returning home. Clotilde Reiss was convicted of provoking unrest and spying in the aftermath of Iran's June election, but the 10-year jail term was commuted to a fine of 3 billion rials (Dh2.94bn). Her lawyer said he paid the fine yesterday. France's presidency says Ms Reiss boarded a French government plane in Dubai and is en route to France. On her return later today she is to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy. The 25-year-old was among more than 100 politicians, journalists and activists accused of trying to engineer a "velvet revolution" to overthrow the Islamic leadership. She pleaded innocent. * AP