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Iran releases French citizen detained for unauthorized entry

The Iranian foreign ministry says the country has released a French citizen who had been detained in Iran’s Kish Island in October over unauthorized entry.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told IRNA on Sunday that the French citizen has been released during the past few days “after legal proceedings were completed and other charges were dropped.”

Qassemi did not provide further details about the French citizen’s case, but French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had announced on Wednesday that the detainee was a businesswoman named Nelly Erin-Cambervelle.

Le Drian told lawmakers on February 20 that the 59-year-old woman from the French Caribbean Island of Martinique was arrested on Kish Island in southern Iran back on October 21, 2018, for “signing an illegal mining contract” and “carrying out an unauthorized trip.”

Details over the arrest first appeared in local Martinique media last week after a friend and colleague of Erin-Cambervelle was quoted as saying that she had been arrested for illegally buying gold after originally going to Kish to negotiate a minerals contract.

Le Drian said that French consular services had met Erin-Cambervelle several times and were “very concerned about her situation.”

However, the minister said that she “did not complain about the custodial conditions and appeared to be in good physical and moral health.”

“We are in touch with the family and with the Iranian authorities to ensure that Mrs. Erin’s situation improves, while respecting Iranian procedures,” he said.

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