Iran protests death of national in French prison

2nd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, April 30, 2006 (AFP) - Iran's foreign ministry said Sunday that it has summoned the French ambassador to Tehran to complain over the recent suicide of an Iranian national in a French prison.

TEHRAN, April 30, 2006 (AFP) - Iran's foreign ministry said Sunday that it has summoned the French ambassador to Tehran to complain over the recent suicide of an Iranian national in a French prison.

"What the French are doing does not correspond to international norms," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. "The Iranian national was buried without the accord of his family. There are a lot of ambiguities surrounding this case

"We have asked for authorisation to send a team to investigate, and we are still waiting for a reply," he added. Asefi said France's ambassador to Tehran, Bernard Poletti, had been already called in three times over the case.

A French official familiar with the case said Morad Hamoun, aged 28, hanged himself in a French jail on April 12.

He had been imprisoned for illegal entry into France, aggravated burglary and involvement in the trafficking of illegal migrants to Britain.

"There was an autopsy, as stipulated by law, and a judicial inquiry is underway. The Iranian authorities can ask to be informed of the result of this inquiry," said the official.

The spat coincides with French efforts to secure the release of one of its nationals jailed in Iran for illegally entering the Islamic republic's Gulf waters.

Frenchman Stéphane L'Herbier, 32, and German national Donald Klein, 52, were sentenced to 18 months in jail on January 24 by a court in Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, where they were initially imprisoned.

Their sentence was upheld by an appeals court in mid-March and they were transferred to Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

The two were arrested at the end of November near the Gulf island of Abu Mussa, which is Iranian territory but claimed by the United Arab Emirates. The two men claimed they had mistakenly used Emirati maps that did not show the current maritime boundaries.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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