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Sweden and Iran exchange prisoners in breakthrough deal

Sweden and Iran exchange prisoners in breakthrough deal

SWEDEN and Iran carried out a prisoner exchange, officials said, with Sweden freeing a former Iranian official convicted for his role in a mass execution in the 1980s while Iran released two Swedes being held there. The prisoner swap was mediated by Oman, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement. "Omani efforts resulted in the two sides agreeing on a mutual release, as those released were transferred from Tehran and Stockholm," it said. Sweden freed former Iranian official Hamid Noury, who had been convicted for his part in a mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in 1988. Iran's…
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Belgian aid worker, Iranian diplomat freed in prisoner swap

Belgian aid worker, Iranian diplomat freed in prisoner swap

A Belgian aid worker jailed in Iran accused of spying and an Iranian diplomat imprisoned in Belgium in connection with a failed bomb plot were freed in a swap mediated by Oman. Aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, 42, was arrested on a visit to Iran in February 2022 and sentenced in January to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes on charges including spying. The Belgian government said on Friday they had reason to believe that Iran had been planning to increase his sentence. Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi was convicted in Belgium in 2021 in connection with a foiled bomb plot in France…
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Brittney Griner released from Russian custody in prisoner swap with Viktor Bout

Brittney Griner released from Russian custody in prisoner swap with Viktor Bout

NANDITA BOSE and HUMEYRA PAMUK U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia in exchange for Viktor Bout, a former arms dealer, and was heading back to the United States, ending what President Joe Biden called months of "hell" for her and her wife. The swap was arranged after talks spanning months during a time of high tensions between the two countries in the wake of Russia's February invasion of Ukraine. The exchange took place in the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi airport, where the two walked past each other on a tarmac, a U.S. administration…
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Mali frees scores of jihadists amid speculations of prisoner swap

Mali frees scores of jihadists amid speculations of prisoner swap

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER MALIAN authorities have released over one hundred alleged or convicted jihadists in a move which may facilitate the liberation of hostages.   The jihadists had been freed early Tuesday and over the week-end from prisons located in the centre and north of the country.  According to the Malian Association for Human Rights, they were held in detention centres in the town of Mopti and the capital, Bamako.  Reports indicate that the prisoners were flown into the central town of Niono and Tessalit, a town bordering Algeria.  According to Radio France International’s correspondent in Mali, witnesses saw them get…
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Suspected jihadist freed by Mali is detained in Algeria

Suspected jihadist freed by Mali is detained in Algeria

ALGERIA’S defence ministry has announced that it has detained a suspected jihadist militant who was released this month by Mali as part of a prisoner swap, underscoring its fears of insecurity in the Sahel region. Mustapha Derar, an Algerian national, was arrested in Tlemcen after security forces tracked him from his crossing of the border into Algeria, the ministry said in a statement. Derar had joined a terrorist group in 2012, it added. Mali, grappling with an Islamist insurrection, released scores of prisoners including suspected militants early this month, days before jihadists freed four hostages: a Malian politician, a French…
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