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Asia-pacific

Frenchwoman charged with provoking unrest appears in court

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-11-17

Clotilde Reiss, charged with provoking unrest following Iran's disputed elections, briefly appeared in court Tuesday before returning to the French embassy.

French academic Clotilde Reiss appeared in a Tehran court Tuesday and then immediately returned to the French embassy, where she has been awaiting her verdict.

Reiss was detained at an airport in Tehran on July 1 and charged with complicity in the weeks of mass protest that followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in a June 12 vote.

She was charged as part of a mass trial of protesters in August and accused of “collecting information and provoking rioters”, according to Iran’s state-run media, for allegedly taking photos of the demonstrations with her cell phone. Reiss was released from Tehran’s Insein prison on August 16 but is required to remain at the French embassy pending a verdict.

"Clotilde Reiss appeared this morning before the judge for a hearing ... The judge had a discussion with our compatriot and did not rule out summoning her for a new hearing," Bernard Valero, a spokesman for the foreign ministry in Paris, told FRANCE 24. “We wish for Clotilde Reiss's innocence to be recognised and for her to return to France," he added. 

The Tehran court did not render a verdict in the case and French officials said they did not rule out yet another court appearance for Reiss, who was released on bail in August on condition that she remain at the embassy.

“The hearing took place in a much more pleasant atmosphere,” the academic’s father told FRANCE 24. He spoke to Reiss after the trial and said she was doing fine.

The father did not have details about the proceedings but he sounded optimistic about the trial’s outcome.

"Things are progressing. There are new prospects," he said.


French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has been vocal in his outrage over the affair, telling the French media on July 7 that Reiss simply “sent photos, just like hundreds – thousands – of photos were sent”.

Reiss was originally set to return to France after a six-month assistant teaching and research assignment in the city of Isfahan.

 

Date created : 2009-11-17

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