The family of a Belgian employee working in an Iranian cell fears for his health

Olivier Vandecastel has been held in an Iranian cell since the end of February 2022.

The family of Belgian employee Olivier Vandecastel, who has been held in a cell in Iran since February, fears for his health. She told us after a short chat with Vandecasteele.

mtmsource: BELGA

The man was arrested on February 24 by Iranian authorities and has been in prison ever since. According to his family and friends, he is in complete isolation and has serious health problems and cannot contact a lawyer of his choice.

At the beginning of this week, a video conference was held between Olivier Vandecastel and his family. That conversation lasted a few minutes and confirmed the family’s concerns, she said in a press release. It appears that “Olivier is locked in a cell in a basement, with no windows and only a hole in the wall for ventilation.”

The family feared for his health. The treatment he is receiving appears to be inadequate, but his mental health has also been “severely affected”.

According to the family, it is also unclear exactly where the NGO employee is.

The family calls on the Iranian authorities to release Vandicastel and provide him with decent and humane conditions of detention until his release.

prisoner exchange

Iran and Belgium agreed to a prisoner exchange agreement. Our country defends this decision as the only possible way to release Vandicastel. The treaty is also controversial, because Tehran is said to be fighting for the release of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Asadi, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in our country last year for his involvement in a foiled bombing attack in Paris. At the end of July, the Brussels Court of Appeal temporarily prevented the Belgian state from extraditing al-Asadi to Iran in summary proceedings by a decision.

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