Iran frees Austrian man, 75, on five-day prison release

Massud Mossaheb is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran as his family insist he is in poor health

TXTG8J File photo shows an Iranian soldier walking in a corridor of Evin prison during a journalist's visit to the prison in Tehran, Iran on June 13, 2006. Esha Momeni, 28, an Iranian-American student from Los Angeles is imprisoned in Tehran and is not being allowed to talk to her family, her attorney says. Momeni, described as a researcher looking into the status of women in Iran, was pulled over for a traffic infraction in Tehran on October 15 and is now being held at the notorious Evin prison. Momeni has been allowed one phone conversation since her arrest, which her attorney says may have been re
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Iran has given a 75-year-old Austrian citizen of Iranian origin, who was jailed on espionage charges, a five-day release from Tehran's Evin prison, his daughter said on Monday.

"He was freed for medical reasons after three and a half years' detention," Fanak Mani, the daughter of Massud Mossaheb, told AFP.

Mr Mossaheb is being held at Evin prison, near the capital Tehran.

A photo posted on the Free Massud Twitter account shows him smiling, supporting himself on a crutch, with his wife by his side.

Mr Mossaheb was the general secretary of the Austro-Iranian Society, an organisation that encourages exchanges between the two countries.

He was arrested in Tehran in January 2019 while he was accompanying a visiting group of Austrian scientists.

Accused of spying for Israel and Germany, he was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

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Mr Mossaheb's family has on several occasions raised concerns about the state of his health.

More than 10 dual-nationality Iranians from western countries are being held by the authorities in the country.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have condemned their detention as "hostage-taking" for political ends, as a means to put pressure on western powers to win concessions.

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Iran, which does not recognise dual nationality, says that all of the people held have been detained after rulings by the courts.

Those detained include four Franco-Iranians, another Austro-Iranian, and others with dual nationality in Sweden, Germany, Britain and the US.

Updated: August 29, 2022, 11:51 PM
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