March 15, 2023

Free Cecile Kohler, French hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

Free Cecile Kohler, French hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

Cecile Kohler is a French teacher and a unionist. She has always dreamed of visiting Iran. Last year, both Cecile and her partner, Jacques Paris visited Iran as tourists during the French school holidays and were arrested on their way to the airport by Iranian authorities. They have both been wrongfully imprisoned in Iran since 7 May 2022. The French government has referred to them as state hostages.

In October 2022, both Cecile and Jacques were made to deliver forced “confessions” which were aired on Iranian state media. The French government was outraged by this and strongly condemned it. On this episode, we have the honour of speaking to Cecile’s sister, Noemie Kohler.

Noemie walks us through what happened to her sister, how they found out she was arrested and what they did next. Noemie tells us how heartbreaking it was for her and her family to see her sister being forced to confess to something she didn’t do. She also talks about how her sister is doing physically and mentally as Cecile has been held for many months in solitary confinement, how the Kohler family have been coping with this trauma, the fact that Cecile has not been given access to a lawyer and the Free Cecile public campaign. Noemie and her family have been working with the families and supporters of other French citizens held hostage in Iran. They held a solidarity rally in Paris earlier this year.

We end this episode discussing what the Iranian authorities, French government and European Union should do to free Cecile and other innocent foreign nationals held hostage in Iran. We also discuss how journalists and members of the public can help.

If you prefer, you can watch the video version of this interview on YouTube

For more information on Cecile Kohler, please check out the following:

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