The sentence was confirmed on appeal. Iranian justice confirmed, Tuesday, June 30, the sentencing to five years of prison of Fariba Adelkhah, Franco-Iranian researcher at the Center of international researches (CERI) of Sciences Po.

Fariba Adelkhah "has appealed her initial sentence" and the appeals court has confirmed the five-year sentence she will have to serve, counting the period of detention since her arrest in June 2019, said the spokesman for the 'Judicial authority Gholamhossein Esmaïli, quoted by the news agency Isna.

The researcher had been sentenced at first instance on May 16 by an Iranian court for "collusion with a view to attacking national security". She has also been sentenced to one year for "propaganda against the [political system of the Islamic Republic]", but must only serve the longest sentence, her lawyer Said Dehghan said in May. Initial charges for espionage have been dropped. 

Renowned anthropologist Fariba Adelkhah, who is 60 years old, was arrested on June 5, 2019 with another French researcher, his companion Roland Marchal, who was released to him in March 2020. Since then imprisoned in Evin prison, in Tehran, this specialist in Shiism, born in Iran in 1959 and living in France since 1977, has always proclaimed his innocence and led a 49-day hunger strike from December to February 2019. 

Many calls from France for his release 

Iran, which does not recognize the dual nationality of Fariba Adelkhah, has rejected France's many calls for his release. President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly called for his "immediate release".

On June 5, the anniversary of his imprisonment, it was the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian who again demanded his release. "Today, I formally reiterate France's demand for the immediate release by Iran of Mrs. Adelkhah," he asked. He added that "the continuation of this situation can only have a negative impact on the bilateral relationship between France and Iran, and substantially reduces the confidence between our two countries". 

For its part, the support committee of Fariba Adelkhah, in Paris, had denounced, in May, a judicial procedure resembling the "'Trial', of Kafka". He also called for "suspending all institutional scientific cooperation with Iran". "How can we continue to work with a State which denies the very essence of our profession and which, more broadly, violates the most basic foundations of freedom of expression and thought?"

"France has few possibilities of being able to interfere with this verdict"

Fariba Adelkhah's arrest "came during a period of tension between the Revolutionary Guards and the Rohani government," said Mariam Pirzadeh on France 24. Internal tensions coupled with external tensions, "while the Iranian economy is strangled by American sanctions, and that Europe cannot cover these sanctions. "

The Islamic Republic may need elements of pressure on Europe, a strategy it has pursued since the 1980s, said the journalist. Because the authorities do not recognize the French nationality of Fariba Adelkhah, "France has few possibilities of being able to interfere with this verdict", abounds Mariam Pirzadeh.

The Franco-Iranian anthropologist would have, moreover, rejected the proposals made by his jailers to obtain his parole. A freedom suspended on the condition that it ceases its research on Shiism in Iran, and at the cost of an expulsion to France, without possible return to Iran.

With AFP

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