Iran authorities have condemned another French national to a long prison sentence.
Louis Arnaud (pictured), who was traveling in the country as a tourist, was given five years in prison on national security charges.
Arnaud’s mother Sylvie said in a statement on Wednesday that her son’s trial was held at the Revolutionary Court without the presence of his lawyer.
She said of the 36-year-old banking consultant and “passionate traveler”, “The accusations made against him, namely propaganda and undermining the security of the Iranian state, are completely unfounded.”
Arnaud was arrested on September 28, 2022 after he had travelled through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia. He entered Iran amid nationwide protests, sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini — detained and reportedly beaten for “inappropriate attire” — on September 16.
Arnaud’s family said he “kept a distance” from the demonstrations.
French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said Arnaud’s conviction and violations of his basic human rights were “unacceptable.” She called for his “immediate release, as well as that of all French people arbitrarily detained in Iran.”
Seeking political leverage, Iran’s authorities have detained a series of French nationals in recent years. Travel consultant Bernard Phelan and tourist Benjamin Brière were released in May, and academic Fariba Adelkhah was finally allowed to leave the country last month.
However, Iran is still holding three other French nationals — Cecile Kohler, Jacques Paris, and a third unidentified person — declaring they are linked to the “Woman. Life. Freedom” protests.