am 1. Juli wurde Clotilde Reiss bei ihrer Ausreise aus Iran am Teheraner Flughafen festgenommen. Der 24-Jährigen wird Spionage und Verschwörung gegen das iranische Regime vorgeworfen. Laut Staatsanwalt Said Mortasawi ist das Verfahren - im Rahmen eines medienwirksamen Schauprozesses - gegen die französische Lektorin mittlerweile beendet. Gegen eine Kaution könne sie möglicherweise das Gefängnis verlassen - sie müsse jedoch in Iran bleiben, bis das Urteil verkündet werde.
Mein Freund Nicolas Kayser-Bril, der mit Clotilde Reiss in Lille studierte und sie näher kennt, äußert sich an dieser Stelle zu den Vorwürfen gegen Clotilde.
By Nicola Kayser-Bril:
Clotilde Reiss has been in an Iranian jail since July 1. She’s been charged with spying and conspiring against the Iranian regime, as you’ve read.
It’s always been clear to me that Clotilde was imprisoned for political reasons. I’ve known her 3 years ago as we were organizing conferences about the Middle East in our university. Her goal was to show us, students, that Iran wasn’t only about the mullahs and nuclear weapons. She was committed to sharing her love of the Iranian world.
Apparently, not everyone knows that. I’m very sad to read that some commenters, writing under articles about Clotilde, hold her responsible for what’s happening to her. See here in Die Kleine Zeitung or in Focus Online, among many others.
I’ll try to get a few facts straights to clarify the situation.
• If she’s in jail, she must be guilty of something.
Innocent until proven guilty stands at the core of any judicial system, even in Iran. That’s why we’ll take a look at the charges before stating on her possible guilt.
• What’s she complaining about? She was looking for trouble.
Actually, Clotilde arrived in Iran months before the election, and she’s had plans to move there for the past 2 years. She didn’t go there at that time on purpose.
• She was stirring trouble against the regime.
The charges related to her involvement in the demonstrations are based on pictures she took with her mobile phone. Would shooting a few pictures of an NPD demonstration in Berlin make you an NPD supporter?
• She’s really a spy.
Clotilde did research for the Commission for Atomic Energy (CEA). This job was a mandatory internship, part of her curriculum. (I did mine at the IT department of Voice of America – Does that make me an American propagandist?) There, she had to explain Iranian politics to the people in charge of the Iranian issue. She was basically reading Iranian newspapers on the internet and summarizing them up. Quite a traditional internship, actually. True, her father works at the CEA. But if you start jailing people because of their parent’s deeds, you’re on a very sloppy ride.
• Yes, she’s a spy. Clotilde sent a report to the French embassy during the riots.
The Iranians really stretched the boundaries of common sense on this one. Seemingly purposefully, the Iranian press agencies covering the trial translated “1-page e-mail” into “report”, so as to confuse us on the nature of the message she wrote.
What’s more, it was sent to the French Institute of Research in Iran, which is linked to the embassy in Tehran. The French have such institutes in every country. Their role is to centralize and help French scholars when they carry out research on the field. These institutes happen to be financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for historical reasons.This way, you understand that she just sent an email to the researchers she was working with.
Clotilde is just a toy in a political game between Iran and France. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all.She was never involved in anything for or against the Iranian regime.That’s why we ask for her immediate release and for the charges against her to be dropped.
You can help by signing the petition