Brussels protesters demand release of aid worker from Iranian detention center

Olivier Vandecasteele

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

Protesters demand the release of Vandacasteele from Iranian imprisonment. Vandacasteele was sentenced to 74 lashes and 40 years in prison.

Where: Belgium

The Facts

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Brussels to demand the release of Belgian Olivier Vandecasteele from imprisonment in Iran.
Vandecasteele, an international aid worker, was arrested in Tehran in February 2022.
He was sentenced to 74 lashes, 40 years in prison, a fine, and property confiscation by an Iranian court on January 10. He is charged with espionage for foreign intelligence services, cooperating with the United States against Iranian interests, and currency smuggling and money laundering of $500,000.
Speaking in Belgium’s parliament on January 12, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said Vandecasteele was subject to torture by Iranian authorities.
The Belgian and Iranian foreign ministers held a telephone conversation on January 16, which Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said related to areas of mutual interest and consular cooperation.
On January 17, United Nations experts said they believe Vandacasteele is being held arbitrarily and demanded his immediate release. “His right to a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal has been violated. These are flagrant violations of Iran’s obligations under international law.”

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