Johan Floderus, a 33-year-old Swedish citizen and EU diplomat held hostage in Iran

Swedish Diplomat Detained In Iran Faces Harrowing Conditions

Saturday, 12/09/2023

Johan Floderus, a 33-year-old Swedish citizen and EU diplomat, has been held captive in Iran for the past 18 months, prompting his family to speak out about the severe conditions he faces.

With no routine consular visits or phone calls during his 600 days of detention in Tehran's Evin prison, Johan has resorted to hunger strikes at least five times, as revealed by his father, Matts Floderus.

Matts detailed the dire circumstances Johan is enduring in an interview with The Guardian. According to him, Johan is confined to a cell without a bed and compelled to sleep under constant lighting. Routine access to phone calls, books, and essential food supplements has been consistently denied.

Expressing the family's distress, Matts shared his wife's hope for Johan's release in time for Christmas, highlighting the devastating impact of the situation on their lives. He emphasized Johan's arbitrary detention, stating that he has committed no wrongdoing and should be released to leave the country.

He said the Iranians had “taken Johan for no reason” and “should ensure he has full human rights while there and they should release him and let him leave the country right away”.

Iran routinely arrests foreigners and dual citizens to use them as bargaining chips against Western countries. The United States released $6 billion of Iran's blocked funds this year to free five hostages.

Johan, an alumnus of Oxford, previously worked on the Afghanistan desk of the EU’s external services department. He was detained on April 17, 2022, in what seems to be a deliberate strategy by Iranian authorities, possibly aimed at leveraging his release against Iranian prisoners in the West or extracting financial concessions.

Johan's family awaits an imminent court hearing in December to learn of the charges against him.

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