France renews its request for release by scientist Fariba Adelkhah, imprisoned for one year

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday repeated his request to release the Franco-Iranian scientist Fariba Adelkhah, sentenced in Iran to five years in prison, on the first anniversary of his imprisonment.

A very sad anniversary for FaribaAdelkah. “On June 5, 2019, FaribaAdelkhah, a researcher at Sciences Po’s Center for International Research (CERI), was imprisoned in Evin Prison in Iran,” recalled on Friday, June 5, Head of French Diplomats Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a press release.

The Foreign Ministry took the opportunity to request a new release. “Today, I formally reiterate France’s demand for Iran’s immediate release of Mrs. Adelkhah,” he announced, adding that “the continuation of this situation can only” adversely affect the bilateral relationship between France and Iran and significantly reduce trust between our two countries ” .

Refusal to call from France

The well-known anthropologist, director of research at CERI, FaribaAdelkhah, who is 60, was arrested along with another French researcher, his companion Roland Marchal, released in March 2020. Imprisoned in the prison Evin in Tehran, this specialist in Shiism, born in Iran 1959 and has lived in France since 1977, has always proclaimed his innocence.

Iran, which does not recognize Fariba Adelkhah’s dual nationality, rejected France’s many calls for her release, in January dropped initial charges of espionage against the scientist, but last month sentenced her to five years of imprisonment for conspiracy to attack Iran’s national security and propaganda against Islamic Republic.

Hostage for “negotiating purposes”

Iranian lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize winner ShirinEbadi believes that the Franco-Iranian scientist FaribaAdelkhah is “hostage” to the Iranian authorities for the purpose of bargaining to “release their own prisoners, get money or other”. And to continue, “she did not commit any crime,” she said in a video released Friday by Sciences Po Paris, which employs the researcher. “The trial that was done for her is unfair,” continues the Nobel Prize winner. Peace 2003, noting that the researcher “was not entitled to a lawyer during the first months of her imprisonment and during her interrogation”.

One year after his arrest, Paris City Hall will post a portrait of the anthropologist on its facade in the morning. Sciences Po Paris also held a banner on its own with the words “FaribaAdelkhah, scientist. Imprisoned in Iran since June 5, 2019. His struggle for freedom is ours.” However, no assembly is planned due to the health restrictions linked to the Covid-19 crisis.

About fifteen foreigners, often binational, have been arrested and sentenced in similar circumstances in recent years, according to FaribaAdelkhah’s Support Committee.

With Reuters and AFP