Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah temporarily freed

Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah temporarily freed

Iran has temporarily released Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah, who has been in prison over national security charges, according to her lawyer.

Adelkhah “was released with an electronic bracelet. She is now with her family in Tehran”, lawyer Saeed Dehghan said on Saturday, without giving other details.

“We hope this temporary release will become final,” he added.

A research director at Sciences Po university in Paris, Adelkhah was arrested in June last year. On May 16, she was sentenced to six years in prison for “gathering and conspiring against national security”.

In June, the Iranian judiciary’s official Mizan news agency quoted a spokesman as saying that “the appeals court has upheld Adelkhah’s five-year jail sentence.

“Of course she has another sentence which is one-and-half years but considering the time she has been in jail, she will only serve five years in total,” Gholamhossein Esmaili said at the time.

‘Arbitrarily arrested’

Born in Iran in 1959 but living in France since 1977, Adelkhah is a citizen of both countries.

The anthropologist has maintained her innocence, while French authorities have called the charges baseless and demanded that Adelkhah be released, saying her detention was harming trust between the two countries. In early June, French President Emmanuel Macron said Adelkhah had been “arbitrarily arrested in Iran” and called her detainment “unacceptable”.

Iran, which does not recognise dual nationality, has sharply criticised France’s calls for Adelkhah’s release as “interference” in its internal affairs.

Adelkhah’s French colleague and partner Roland Marchal, who was detained along with her, was released in March in an apparent prisoner swap.

His release came after France freed Iranian engineer Jalal Ruhollahnejad, held over alleged violations of United States sanctions against Tehran.