TEHRAN (AFP) -The wife of a Frenchman sentenced with a German to 18 months in prison for illegally entering Iranian territorial waters asked the Iranian authorities to show clemency.
“I call on the Iranian authorities for clemency for my husband, as I and our two-and-a-half year old daughter are left behind alone,” Veronique Lherbier said in a phone conversation from Dubai, where she is living.
“My daughter is very attached to her father, as he is to her. He will not be able to see her growing up,” she told AFP.
“It is true he made a mistake, but 18 months of prison are disproportionate compared to the mistake made,” Lherbier added.
On Friday, Stephane Lherbier, 32 and the German, Donald Klein, 52, were transferred to Tehran’s Evin prison, a family source said. They were sentenced on January 24 by a court in the port city of Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, where they were initially imprisoned.
Their sentence was upheld by an appeals court in mid-March.
The two were arrested at the end of November near the island of Abu Mussa, in an area in which waters between Iran and the United Arab Emirates are disputed.
The two men said they had mistakenly used Emirati maps that did not show the current maritime boundaries.
Evin prison in northern Tehran is renowned for its austere conditions and is where many who oppose the regime — from the time of the shah through to the 27-year-old Islamic republic — have served sentences.
However, Veronique Lherbier said her husband has told her that “the conditions of detention are very good, much better than in Bandar Abbas (prison). It is a great relief for me.”
She added that the two men were being held with other prisoners.