A Frenchman held in Iran for over a year is an innocent tourist caught in a trap that has nothing to do with him, his sister says, after it emerges that he faces trial on charges of espionage.
Benjamin Briere, born in 1985, was arrested in Iran in May last year, allegedly while flying a drone and taking photographs in a prohibited area.
His Iranian lawyer said Sunday prosecutors have confirmed that he will be tried for espionage, as well as “propaganda against the system.” A conviction of espionage is punishable by death in Iran.
“We are completely in shock. Now we see such serious accusations emerge against him, it takes on a proportion that we cannot control and it is terrifying,” Briere’s sister Blandine Briere tells AFP.
“We believe the game is somewhere else, but what it is about is completely beyond us. He has been caught in a trap.
“Benjamin is not a spy, he is an ordinary French citizen, a tourist who found himself caught in an unreal case.”