Iran confirms detention of Slovakia tourists

Paragliders accused of espionage and "taking pictures of military objects from above," Slovakia newspaper reports.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said the Slovaks had "unconventional devices" [EPA]
    Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said the Slovaks had "unconventional devices" [EPA]

    Iran has confirmed the detention of several paragliders from Slovakia two days after their country announced they had been apprehended, reportedly accused of espionage.

    "They came to Iran as tourists but behaved inappropriately and had unconventional devices in their possession," Abbas Araqchi, spokesman for the foreign ministry, told the ISNA news agency on Sunday.

    "They broke the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran and were arrested by the relevant authorities."

    Araqchi did not say when or where they were detained or how many people were involved, only that "an investigation has begun and their case will be referred later to the judiciary".

    He also confirmed they had been given consular access.

    Slovak foreign ministry spokesman Boris Gandel told the AFP news agency on Friday: "Our diplomats in Tehran are in touch with the arrested citizens and the Iranian authorities."

    Slovakia's SME newspaper reported that five or six Slovak paragliders had been detained in Iran "more than three weeks ago for taking pictures of military objects from above".

    Another Slovak citizen was arrested in the country last year on allegations of spying for the US CIA and paraded on state television.

    The 26-year-old, who used to work as a headhunter in Iran's telecommunications sector, was released after spending 40 days in solitary confinement.

    State television said he was accused of contacting Iranian scientists to seek information on "the country's scientific progress".

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.