Tehran accuses jailed Swedish man of 'committing crimes' in Iran

Johan Floderus, who had been working for the EU, has been held for more than 500 days

Johan Floderus has been held in Iran for more than 500 days. Photo: Twitter
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Iran said on Monday a Swedish man it has imprisoned had "committed crimes" in the Islamic republic.

A spokesman for Iran’s judiciary Massoud Satayshi has now said "the Swedish citizen has committed crimes in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran” adding that he was sent "to prison with a legal order”.

Mr Satayshi said the results of a full investigation into his case made by the prosecutor's office "will be sent in the coming days to a competent court".

Last week, the European Union said Johan Floderus, who had been working in Tehran for the bloc, had been detained illegally in Iran for more than 500 days.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell recently said Brussels was pushing “relentlessly” for the release of 33-year-old Mr Floderus.

Mr Floderus was arrested on April 17, 2022 at Tehran's airport as he was returning home from a trip with friends.

His family recently urged the international community to help secure his release and said held without formal charges at Tehran's Evin prison, where political prisoners and detainees facing security charges, including Iranians with dual nationality, are jailed.

"The family, friends, and supporters of Johan are calling for urgent international attention to secure his immediate release and safe return to Europe," the family wrote on a website dedicated to his release, on his 33rd birthday.

His family said Mr Floderus had travelled throughout the Middle East to study languages, explore historic sites and to support humanitarian cooperation projects in Iran on behalf of the EU.

"His needs for adequate food rations, outside walks, medical checkups and much more are not respected (in jail)," his family wrote, adding that he had been denied "communicating" with Sweden's embassy in Tehran, except a few consular visits.

They said that starting in February 2023 Mr Floderus was restricted to making short phone calls once a month.

"He had to go on hunger strike to be allowed to make several of these calls, which have to be in English and monitored."

Iran arrested Mr Floderus in the hope of exchanging him with an Iranian citizen, Hamid Noury, who has been detained in Sweden, the Scandinavian country's Aftonbladet paper reported.

Noury received a life jail term for his role in the Iranian regime's 1988 mass executions of thousands of opponents, prompting Iran to recall its envoy to Sweden in protest.

In May, Iran executed a Swedish-Iranian dissident, Habib Chaad, convicted of leading an Arab separatist group Tehran blames for a number of attacks including one on a military parade in 2018 that killed 25 people.

Updated: December 11, 2023, 5:25 AM