Tue. Sep 29th, 2020


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Fariba Adelkhah: French academic ‘jailed for six years’ in Iran

Fariba Adelkhah (file photo)

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Fariba Adelkhah’s research focuses on political and social anthropology

A French-Iranian academic has been jailed for six years by a court in Iran, according to her Tehran lawyer.

Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to five years for conspiring against national security and one year for propaganda against the state, Saeid Dehghan said.

But he added that he expected her to only have to serve the longer term.

The anthropologist and researcher at Sciences Po university in Paris was detained in June 2019 along with her French colleague Roland Marchal.

Mr Marchal was released in March this year as part of a prisoner swap.

The French authorities freed Jalal Rohollahnejad, an Iranian engineer who was being held over accusations that he violated US sanctions against Iran.

In recent years, Iran has arrested dozens of foreign and dual nationals on national security charges. Some, including British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, are on temporary release because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The French foreign ministry has said Ms Adelkhah’s detention is unacceptable and that it is determined to obtain her release.

However, the Iranian authorities do not recognise dual nationality for Iranian citizens and they have not granted French diplomats consular access rights.

On 24 December, Ms Adelkhah began a hunger strike to protest against her treatment at Tehran’s Evin prison along with the Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, according to Science Po.

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Supporters of Fariba Adelkhah say she has been unjustly imprisoned

Ms Adelkhah ended the hunger strike on 12 February, after fears were expressed about her health. Eleven days later, she was admitted to the prison’s hospital for treatment for severe kidney damage.

Ms Adelkhah is a specialist in social anthropology and the political anthropology of post-revolutionary Iran, and has written a number of books, including Revolution under the Veil: Islamic Women of Iran.

At the time of her arrest, Ms Adelkhah was examining the movement of Shia clerics between Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, and had spent time in the holy city of Qom.

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