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Iran says freed Danish prisoner, two Iranians on humanitarian grounds

Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi

Iran has freed a Danish prisoner as well as two Iranians on humanitarian grounds, according to a senior judiciary official.

The announcement was made on Friday by Kazem Gharibabadi, the secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and the Judiciary chief’s deputy for international affairs.

Gharibabadi identified the two Iranian nationals as Masoud Mosaheb and Kamran Ghaderi. They had served most of their term, 4.5 and 7.5 years, respectively. The Judiciary official did not name the Danish individual.

Iranian media reports said the two Iranians had been convicted of espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

Earlier on Friday, a spokesperson for the Belgian government had reported the release of the three, saying the two Iranians had dual Austrian nationality. The spokesperson claimed the three were released by Iran in return for Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi as part of a prisoner swap which also saw Iran releasing Belgian national Olivier Vandecasteele last week.

The Belgian government said in a statement the Danish was arrested in Iran in November 2022, and Ghaderi and Mosaheb in 2016 and 2019, respectively.

The statement thanked Oman for mediating the swap, and said Belgium is organizing their evacuation via Oman to Belgium.

Oman has long been an interlocutor in interactions between the West and Iran. The country has so far mediated the release of several foreign citizens and dual nationals.

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