Researcher Fariba Adelkhah, detained in Iran since June 2019, was granted leave on Saturday (October 3) and remains in Tehran with her family under the control of an electronic bracelet. “We haven’t yet [donné] a date for his return to prison but we hope that this temporary release will become final ”said his lawyer, Saïd Dehghan, without providing further details.
“Under health measures and as part of a medical leave, Fariba was released from prison this Saturday, October 3, 2020 and returned to her personal home where she is under house arrest […] “, said the support committee of the Franco-Iranian anthropologist in a press release. “It doesn’t change the root of the problem. Fariba remains a scientific prisoner, serving a five-year prison sentence, after a “trial” iniquitous, on the basis of inane accusations “, however, believes the committee.
A specialist in Shiism and post-revolutionary Iran at Sciences Po Paris, Ms. Adelkhah was arrested in early June 2019 in Tehran, as was her companion Roland Marchal, a renowned specialist in Africa who came to visit her. The latter was released in March as part of a prisoner exchange. But the researcher, born in Iran in 1959 and living in France since 1977, was sentenced on May 16 to five years in prison for “Collusion with a view to attacking national security” and “Propaganda against the system” policy of the Islamic Republic.
“Unacceptable that she is still imprisoned”
“This conviction is not based on any serious element or established fact and is therefore of a political nature”, then reacted the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Fariba Adelkhah’s support committee, which has always denounced trumped up accusations against this researcher known for her integrity, had denounced a legal procedure resembling the “Kafka trial”.
In one “Message to the Iranian authorities”, French President Emmanuel Macron had ruled in early June that Ms. Adelkhah had been “Arbitrarily arrested in Iran”. Judging “Unacceptable that she is still imprisoned”, the French president added that the “Justice commands that our compatriot be immediately released”.
The academic, a researcher at Sciences Po Paris’s International Research Center (CERI), was severely weakened by a 49-day hunger strike between late December and February to protest her conditions of detention. Her lawyer also said she suffered from “Kidney disease”.
The Iranian authorities, who do not recognize dual nationality, have always described “Unacceptable interference” the multiple calls for the release of Fariba Adelkhah launched by Paris.
Arrests of foreigners in Iran, including binationals, often accused of espionage, have increased since the United States’ unilateral withdrawal in 2018 from the international Iran nuclear deal and the reinstatement of harsh US sanctions against Tehran.