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12th May 2023, 14:29:19 UTC

Amnesty International welcomes the release of Irish-French national Bernard Phelan, who had been arbitrarily detained in Iran since 3 October 2022, and whose immediate release the organization had called for earlier this year. Amnesty International also welcomes the news that he is on his way home now. The family of Bernard Phelan has worked tirelessly to secure his release and we are pleased that they will see him again.

Bernard Phelan’s detention was arbitrary due to the gravity of violations of his fair trial rights, including right to access an independent lawyer of his own choosing, to adequate defence and to meaningfully challenge the legality of his detention before an independent and impartial court. For this and other human rights violations, Bernard Phelan must be accorded an enforceable right to reparations from the Iranian authorities.

Amnesty International remains deeply concerned about the Iranian authorities’ practice of using detained dual and foreign nationals as leverage, and again urges all states whose nationals are or have been detained at any point in Iran to promptly examine whether the deprivation of liberty amounts to an act of hostage-taking, and if so, to ensure accountability.