SAccording to the French news agency, Johan Floderus was detained on April 17, 2022 at Tehran airport when he returned home after a vacation with friends in Iran.
“It’s Johan’s 33rd birthday. He should be with us celebrating. He should be released immediately and allowed to return home”, appealed the family of Johan Floderus, in a statement cited by AFP, which includes a photograph of the young man taken in August 7 during the only video call he was allowed since he was detained.
The Swedish citizen, who has worked in Brussels for the European Union delegation in Afghanistan since September 2021, is being held in Evin prison in Tehran.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, revealed the Swede’s identity on Tuesday, assuring that the European Union is “working tirelessly” to obtain the release of Johan Floderus.
In July 2022, Iran announced the arrest of a Swede accused of espionage, at a time when relations between Tehran and Stockholm are tense.
The announcement of that arrest came two weeks after an Iranian citizen was sentenced in Sweden to life in prison for the role he played in the mass executions of thousands of opponents of the Iranian regime in 1988.
Hamid Noury, former director of an Iranian prison, was found guilty by a Stockholm court of “aggravated crimes against international law” and “homicide”.
Several Western countries accuse Iran of engaging in “hostage-taking diplomacy”, which consists of arresting Western citizens to obtain concessions such as the release of Iranian citizens.
Johan Floderus is “yet another victim of Iran’s alarming pattern of holding foreign hostages for political purposes”, said the Swede’s family.
“The conditions in which Johan Floderus is detained, in a cell with permanent lighting, are unacceptable”, denounces the family, describing that “the needs for food, walks, medical examinations and many other things are not being met”.
The Swede spent “more than 300 days in isolation”, it is further reported, and was authorized to receive “very few” consular visits, having been authorized to make one brief telephone call per month, since February.
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