MERCI !Bernard est en France. Il est entouré de sa famille, il va bien. Nous vous donnerons des nouvelles très rapidement.
Bernard is being held hostage in Iran. Ireland is working with France to free him.
Bernard Phelan has been deprived of freedom since 3rd October 2022
The Government authorities in Dublin are working closely with the French Government to free Bernard Phelan (64), an Irish-French dual national, who was jailed in Iran in October. Bernard, a native of Tipperary, grew up in Dublin and is a Paris-based tourism consultant. He has been held captive since 3rd October 2022 in Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad city accused of disseminating anti-regime propaganda and taking pictures of security services. He has not been charged with any offense. Bernard was on an educational tour with an Iranian tourism company developing new opportunities to bring tourism to Iran when he was arrested.
Bernard’s career in tourism began in Ireland and subsequently continued in France where he worked for Fáilte Ireland before eventually setting up his own tourism consultancy. He has a great passion for travel, exploration, and the importance of cross-cultural exchange. His guiding principle is that travel and experiencing other cultures can be a strong catalyst for peace, tolerance and understanding across the world. Bernard has travelled extensively in Iran working with local tour operators to successfully generate new tourist products for the country. His arrest and the charges leveled against him simply don’t stand up to scrutiny. They don’t make any sense.
Days in Captivity
What has happened since his arrest on 3rd October 2022?
Bernard has had to endure harsh prison conditions, including weeks in solitary confinement and freezing winter temperatures, and has a number of serious medical conditions that compound his faltering health. His father, Vincent, who is 97 and has been working tirelessly for the release of his son and fears he will never see his son again.
Bernard’s release is urgent based on humanitarian grounds
The imprisonment of an Irish citizen in an Iranian prison where he has had to endure conditions that have seriously damaged his health sheds a cold light on the harsh realities of imprisonment in Iran and offers a stark reminder of the importance of one human life over the aspirations of a thousand words.
Bernard’s health is rapidly failing and if he is not released he could die.
The physical and psychological impact of imprisonment and limited contact with the world outside his cell walls have taken a devastating toll on a once vibrant and healthy man. The Iranian authorities have assured Bernard’s family that they are working for his release on humanitarian grounds. While this is appreciated, time is not on Bernard’s side. Time is not on his family’s side. Time is not on anyone’s side. Bernard’s immediate release and provision of medical care is now past critical.
Sign our petition
You have the power to make a difference
The aim of the Bernard Phelan support committee is to mobilise people around the world to request that the Irish and French Government redouble their efforts to secure Bernard’s release. Support us now in our efforts by signing the petition.
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15 May 2023
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