The family of Cecile Kohler, a French teacher held by authorities in Iran for over two years, say they have not heard from her since late April.

Kohler and her partner, Jacques Paris, were arrested in Tehran in May 2022 as they were wrapping up a sightseeing holiday in Iran. They have been accused of fomenting unrest and spying.

“The last time we heard from her was on April 22, when she managed to call our mother for three to four minutes,” Cecile’s sister Noemie Kohler told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda on June 2.

“We have been waiting to hear from her for over 1 1/2 months with little hope. It is extremely worrying not to have received any signs that she’s alive,” she added.

She said Kohler and her partner “have been cut off from the outside world” and that their families were unable to send them anything.

In a statement on May 7 to mark two years since their arrest, the French Foreign Ministry condemned what it described as the Islamic republic’s “policy of state hostage-taking and ongoing blackmail by the Iranian authorities.”

In October 2022, Kohler and Paris appeared in a televised video “confessing” to spying on Iran. Broadcasting what rights groups describe as “forced” televised confessions is a common practice in the Islamic republic and has been condemned.

The French couple are among at least 10 Western citizens held in Iran on security-related charges that include spying.

Iran has been accused by Western powers and rights groups of arbitrarily arresting citizens of Western countries to use as bargaining chips.

On May 27, the families of four French nationals jailed in Iran traveled to Geneva to ask relevant UN workgroups to investigate their arrests.

Noemie said the purpose is to highlight the “arbitrary nature” of the arrests through investigations.

“Our goal is to start a global struggle to bring the attention of international bodies to the arrests of our loved ones. We hope to be able to secure their release this way,” she said.

Source » rferl