Thu, 19 May 2022

French tourist Benjamin Briere, who has been detained in Iran since spring 2021 on spying charges, has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a court, French media report.

Several French media outlets quoted Briere's lawyer as saying the sentence was handed down on January 25.

Briere was charged with spying and propaganda against Iran after being arrested in May 2020 when he flew a remote-controlled mini-helicopter in the desert near the Turkmenistan-Iran border.

A spying conviction is punishable by death in Iran.

His family says he is an innocent tourist who set out in 2018 on a road trip in his camper van that began in Scandinavia before heading overland toward Iran.

In late December, the 36-year-old Frenchman, who is being held in the Valikabad prison in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran, began a hunger strike to protest against his incarceration.

Based on reporting by LYON Mag and BFM TV

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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