Bahram Qassemi

Iran frees French businesswoman held since October

Reuters – Iran has released a French citizen arrested for entering the country illegally after other charges were dropped, the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday, days after France’s foreign minister discussed her case in parliament.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers France was in touch with Iran to improve the conditions of the woman arrested in October on Iran’s Gulf island of Kish for allegedly signing an illegal mining contract.

“A French national who had been detained for unauthorised entry into Iran has been released in the past few days after legal proceedings took their course and other charges were dropped,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Qasemi did not give further details, but Le Drian said on Wednesday that the woman was held “on the grounds of having signed an illegal contract and carrying out a non-authorised trip”.

Nelly Erin-Cambervelle, a 59-year-old businesswoman from Martinique, had been on Kish – a free-trade zone allowing visa-free entry for visitors from most countries – as part of her import-export business.