Update on abduction of Arash Fakhravar in Paris; French authorities were alerted by FBI
More details have emerged in Europe about the April 29 abduction in Paris of Arash Fakhravar. Blogger Mehrtash, who is close to the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS), brings us the following details that IranChannel did not originally report. We have checked with Mehrtash and report the following news from his blog:
- After kidnapping Arash on a Paris street, Islamic Republic of Iran agents took the victim in an Iranian Embassy diplomatic car to Orly airport in Paris. Our initial report stated an incorrect French airport.
- The victim was forced aboard Iran Air flight 732 to Tehran.
- The kidnappers failed to search Arash for his cell phone, which is how Arash was able to call to make an alert about his abduction.
- The Iranian government agents “left him seated as they discussed his ‘illegal deportation’ status with flight security” at the stairway to the Iran Air jet at Orly airport. “It was then that Arash seized the opportune moment to telephone and alert his brother, Amir Fakhravar, in Washington, DC.”
- “‘At first I thought he was playing a practical joke,’ explained Amir Fakhravar, ‘but then through the phone in the background I heard a flight attendant’s announcement that the flight was held for a late passenger and [would] be departing for Tehran shortly.'”
- In Washington, “Amir immediately contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), [which] then got in touch with the French authorities and soon a full investigation was in effect.”
- Iran Air flight 732 arrived in Tehran at approximately 23:50 hours, local time.
- Arash’s mother had been alerted about the flight (apparently from her son in Washington) and was at Imam Khomeini airport to pick him up. However, he never appeared with the other passengers. After a three-hour wait, she inquired with airport staff, and was told they had no knowledge of Arash’s presence on the flight.
- Another airport employee, apparently feeling sorry for Arash’s mother, came forward and said that her son “had been on the flight, but was escorted off the plane through the other exit because he was categorised as a ‘National Security Case’ and not a regular passenger.”
- “It was later confirmed that Arash is currently detained at a prison of the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Service, where no further information on his well-being or fate is disclosed.”
- The French government is actively investigating the case, and French lawyers are helping the Fakhravar family.