“It gives us hope”

“It gives us hope”
“It gives us hope”

The United Nations (UN) is officially seized of the cases of three of the four French hostages held in Iran. This Monday in Geneva, in the presence of Noémie Kohler, Cécile’s sister, and Sylvie Arnaud, Louis’ mother, a group of French lawyers filed, on behalf of the families, a file with the Human Rights Council. UN man. “This referral will allow expert members of the working group on arbitrary detention to examine the fate of our compatriots. The experts will analyze our arguments, in particular the conditions of arrest and detention of Cécile Kohler, Jacques Paris and Louis Arnaud,” explains Karine Rivoallan, lawyer at the Saint-Brieuc bar, who adds: “By opening an investigation, the The UN will hold Iran accountable. »

“Iran is very attached to its reputation”

“Iran will give the appearance of legality to the illegal detention of Cécile, Jacques and Louis,” says Me Martin Pradel. The lawyer from the Parisian firm Talma recalls that “Iran is investing significant resources to polish its image in United Nations bodies. They are very attached to their reputation and do not treat the UN with contempt. When France denounces the arbitrary detention of its nationals, Iran responds that its justice system is independent. When it is the UN that conducts an investigation and takes a critical look at the behavior of the Iranians, that changes everything and it changes nothing for the hostages. But it’s not just symbolic,” says M.e Pradel.

“Real case law exists to highlight these arbitrary detentions, in particular that Louis was only able to have limited access to his procedure and was not assisted by lawyers during the hearing. The same goes for Cécile and Jacques, for whom no trial date has been set,” adds M.e Rivoallan.

Benjamin Brière alongside the families

This Monday in Geneva, on the Place de la Paix, opposite the imposing building of the UN Human Rights Commission, the former French hostage, Benjamin Brière, was present alongside the sister of the ‘Alsatian Cécile Kohler and Louis Arnaud’s mother, who came specially from Saône-et-Loire. “They are still experiencing what I experienced. I am here out of solidarity. Even deep inside Iranian prisons, there is always information filtering through. I never had the details, but I knew that there was media coverage of my situation,” confides Benjamin Brière.

“Such action and the support shown to us give us strength and hope,” underlined Sylvie Arnaud. His son Louis, aged 36, was sentenced in November to five years in prison. “The support of the former hostages is invaluable,” adds Sylvie Arnaud alongside Noémie Kohler. Which sees in the referral to the UN working group “a concrete action and an additional step to change the situation”.

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