A French tourist has been detained in Iran’s notorious Evin prison for four months for no good reason, his parents have revealed.
Jean-Michel and Sylvie Arnaud say their son Louis Arnaud – a 35-year-old French national – has been imprisoned in Iran since 28th September.
The financial services consultant had been in Iran as part of a world tour.
In a statement to French media on 26th January, his parents said that he had arrived in Iran on 2nd September.
Jean-Michel and Sylvie said: “Knowing with certainty his own commitments and having had some echo of testimonies from his travelling companions, we are sure that our son Louis did not take part in any demonstration or express ideas hostile to Iran, its government or to Islam.”
They added: “Our son is neither a plotter, nor a spy, nor a criminal. He is a simple citizen of the world, who wishes to explore it to better know and understand it.”
Arnaud has reportedly only been able to talk to his parents twice by telephone in October.
His parents said in their statement: “We are aware of the investment of the French government and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs for the improvement of the conditions of detention and the release of the French hostages.
“But we want to alert and mobilise the public more widely on the situation of our fellow countrymen and our son, because we see that the idea of remaining discreet and silent does not work.”
Arnaud is one of six French detainees whose names have been made public.
Fariba Adelkhah has been imprisoned since June 2019 while tourist Benjamin Briere, was arrested in May 2021 as he handled a travel drone in a park.
Trade unionists Cecile Kohler and Jacques Paris were arrested in May 2022 and Bernard Phelan – a 64-year-old Franco-Irish tourism consultant – was seized on 3rd October 2022.
A seventh French national, whose identity is not currently known, is also reportedly imprisoned in the country, according to French media.
Human rights groups accuse Iran of detaining foreigners in the Islamic Republic to use as bargaining chips for money or leverage in negotiations with “hostile” nations.
Tehran openly considers France a hostile nation but denies detaining foreigners for leverage.