A Frenchman detained in Iran since May 2020, Benjamin Brière, will be tried for “espionage” and “propaganda against the political system” of the Islamic Republic, his lawyer announced on Sunday. Espionage is punishable by death in Iran, and propaganda against the system from three months to one year in prison. At the end of the investigation, the prosecution confirmed the prosecution “and the prosecutor prepares the indictment and sends it to the Revolutionary Court for the continuation of the judicial process,” said Me Saïd Dehghan.
Benjamin Brière is being held in Machhad, in northeastern Iran. The announcement of this referral to trial comes a few days after the publication by the French weekly Point an open letter from her sister, calling on French President Emmanuel Macron to obtain the release of this thirty-something, imprisoned according to her “without foundation” and who has become an “instrument of negotiations which exceeds him”.
According to Me Saïd Dehghan, the Frenchman was the subject of two other charges which were not finally retained at the end of the investigation: “corruption on Earth”, one of the most serious charges of the Iranian penal code, punishable by death, and consumption of alcohol, punishable by flogging. Benjamin Brière, born in 1985, is accused of espionage for “photographs of prohibited areas” taken with a drone in a natural park in Iran, his lawyer continued. According to his sister, he was arrested while crossing the Islamic Republic of Iran as a tourist, during a long trip in a campervan that began in 2018.