The Slovak consul met the paragliders detained in Iran – at a representation office in Tehran last week. This consular contact, already the second after a meeting in Isfahan prison, was confirmed by Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák.
All of the eight detainees confirmed that Iran is treating them decently, including relatively free movement in the rooms where they are kept, with no other detainees sharing their space. They were also allowed to send messages to their families.
“We work intensely on solving the case politically,” Lajčák told the TASR newswire. But he also called for patience, as some people are detained for years. He pointed to the case of Matej Valuch who was detained for almost six months, “and this is Valuch multiplied eight times”, he said.
According to the Sme daily, Iranian officials say they found pictures of nuclear facilities taken by the detained Slovaks. Photographing such sites is prohibited by Iranian law. Moreover, the paragliders were alleged to have arrived with a disassembled transmitter, which they later put together, Sme wrote.
The media first reported about the eight Slovaks detained for what Iranian authorities called “illegal activities, including taking photos of prohibited places” in the area of the Isfahan province, where several nuclear facilities are located including a plant used to enrich uranium. According to the media reports, they are members of the Paragliding Expedition Slovakia, and have organised several expeditions over the past few years, from which they have made documentary films presented at various festivals. They travelled to Iran as tourists at the beginning of May.
Source: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Aug 2013 at 10:00