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10 September 2023 
Statement of the family and friends of Johan Floderus, taken hostage by Iran

Today, on Johan’s 33rd birthday, he should be with us celebrating. Instead, he has been detained for more than 500 days without any justifiable cause or due process - in severe violation of human rights and international law.

Our beloved son, brother, partner and friend Johan Floderus has been held hostage in Iran’s notorious Evin prison without charge since April last year. He has become yet another victim of Iran's alarming pattern of taking foreign nationals hostage for political purposes. It is likely that this is the first time an EU employee has been detained by Iran in this manner. The family, friends, and supporters of Johan are calling for urgent international attention to secure his immediate release and safe return to Europe.

To gather information, to have a platform for support and to constantly work for Johan’s release, we today launch


Johan was taken hostage on April 17th 2022 at the Tehran airport on his way back home from a trip with friends. He has since many years been interested in the cultures and histories of the Middle East. He has travelled throughout the region to study the languages, explore historic sites, and support humanitarian cooperation projects in Iran on behalf of the EU.


The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been working closely with Johan's family, engaging in attempts to secure consular visits, phone calls, and meetings with the Iranian authorities. His first consular meeting was only permitted five months after he was first incarcerated, and during the first 10 months Johan was denied any contact at all with his family.


The conditions under which Johan is held in prison, with 24-hour cell light, are unacceptable and in violation of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners. His needs for adequate food rations, outside walks, medical check-ups and much more are not respected. His exposure to fresh air and sunlight is restricted to only three half-hour sessions per week. In blatant disregard of international guidelines he has spent over 300 days in solitary confinement. 


Notwithstanding Swedish consular attempts to improve his conditions, Johan faces severe restrictions in receiving letters and books. He is not allowed to send any letters and he is constantly denied access to his basic human rights.


He has also been denied communicating with the Swedish embassy except for a very few number of consular visits. He has been allowed to make on average one short phone call per month starting in February 2023. He had to go on hunger strike to be allowed to make several of these calls which have to be in English and monitored. They could be forcibly ended if subjects are “wrong”. One video call has been granted.


In a desperate plea during the video call, Johan asked for more to be done in hope of his return home. His family and friends echo his plea and reiterate his innocence of any wrongdoing. Johan Floderus is arbitrarily detained. He should be released immediately and allowed to travel home.


Johan during his first, and so far only, video call - 7 August 2023


For questions regarding the work of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please contact the Swedish MFA Press Office.


For media inquiries, reach out to the #FreeJohanFloderus Campaign Team at

In order to respect the family in this time of great difficulty for them, please do not contact them on their personal phone numbers or emails.  The media can reach the family by contacting Anna Helsén on +46 70 698 48 58.

Join our efforts in the call to release Johan Floderus illegally detained in Iran. You can do so by:


  • Sign and share our petition here

  • Donate to our cause here

  • Write to your government by using this template

  • Print a poster and put it up somewhere visible and where allowed to do so. You can download the poster here

  • Relaying our messages or creating your own using the hashtag #FreeJohanFloderus so we can ensure the call is loud and clear, and create movement to getting our loved one home 

  • Speaking to your political representatives, who hold strong influence in ensuring his release

  • Follow our social media channels for real-time updates and ways you can contribute to Johan's release.

Thank you for standing with us. Together, we can bring Johan home.

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