Belgian court approves prisoner exchange with Iran

The Belgian Constitutional Court upheld the convention allowing a Belgian detained in Iran to be replaced by an Iranian detained in Belgium. Members of the Iranian opposition objected to the convention, but the court dismissed the opposition’s objection.

VRT Nieuws described the decision as “relatively good news” for Belgian Olivier Vandecasteele, who is detained in Iran. The employee of the non-profit humanitarian organization Relief International has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year. In January he was sentenced to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes, including espionage.

According to Belgium, this conviction was based on nothing. The decision will be made in retaliation for the conviction of Iranian diplomat and terrorist Assadullah Assadi two years ago in Belgium. This diplomat, who served in Austria, is serving a 20-year prison sentence in Belgium.

In 2018, Asadi and three others wanted to attack an Iranian opposition congress in Paris. Assad had brought the bomb to Europe in a diplomatic briefcase, sent the Iranians to attack and handed them the bomb. The conspiracy was noticed in time and the attack was averted.

to inform the opposition

The Belgian constitutional court had to decide on the exchange agreement with Iran. The Iranian opposition had argued that after Assad’s return to Iran, he would be used again in attacks against Iranian regime opponents.

The Court takes this fear into account and states that the Belgian state has a duty to protect people who may be in danger if Assad is released. If exchanges are made, they must be notified. You can then present the decision to a court.

The Iranian opposition has already announced that it will go to court.

Source: NOS