Iran/Belgium: Iran must be held accountable for hostage-taking after overdue release of Olivier Vandecasteele in prisoner swap

Index Number: MDE 13/6835/2023

Amnesty International welcomes the release of Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, who was unjustly imprisoned in Iran. However, the circumstances of his release confirm the organization’s earlier concerns that the Iranian authorities held him hostage to swap him with intelligence agent Assadollah Asadi. By transferring Assadollah Asadi to Iran, the Belgium government has contributed to a climate of impunity for the extraterritorial targeting of Iranian dissidents for extrajudicial execution, torture, and other ill-treatment, and undermined the rights of victims to justice, reparations and guarantee non-recurrence of violations.

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