Austrian held in Iran gets 5-day release from prison

AFP - [email protected]
Austrian held in Iran gets 5-day release from prison
Iranian women inmates sit at their cell in the infamous Evin jail, where Mossaheb is also imprisoned, north of Tehran. (AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE)

A 75-year-old Austrian citizen of Iranian origin, jailed in Iran on charges of espionage, has been given a five-day release from prison, his daughter told AFP on Monday.


"He was freed for medical reasons after three and a half years' detention," said Fanak Mani, the daughter of Massud Mossaheb.


Mossaheb is being held at Evin prison, near the capital Tehran. A photo posted on the Free Massud Twitter account shows him smiling, supporting himself on a crutch, with his wife by his side.


Mossaheb was the general secretary of the Austro-Iraninan Society, an organisation set up to encourage exchanges between the two countries.

He was arrested in Tehran in January 2019 while he was accompanying a visiting group of Austrian scientists. Accused of spying for Israel and Germany, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

His family has raised concerns about the state of his health on several occasions.

More than 10 dual nationality Iranians from western countries are currently being held by the authorities in the country.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have condemned their detention as "hostage-taking" for politican ends, as a means to put pressure on western powers to win concessions.

Iran, which does not recognise double nationality, says that all the people held have been detained following rulings by the courts. 


Those detained include four Franco-Iranians, another Austro-Iranian, and others with dual nationality in Sweden, Germany, Britain and the United States.


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