Iran sentences French -Iranian academic to 5 years

Iran sentences French -Iranian academic to 5 years

Iran sentenced French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah to five years in prison on national security charges Saturday, her lawyer said, adding that she plans to appeal.

The case of Adelkhah and her French colleague and partner Roland Marchal, who were arrested together in June last year, has been a thorn in relations between Tehran and Paris for months.

Marchal was released in an apparent prisoner swap in March that drew strong criticism from the United States.

Iran sentenced French-Iranian academic to 5-year imprisonment

The 61-year-old Adelkhah has remained in custody ever since her arrest.

A research director at Sciences Po university in Paris, she is a dual French-Iranian citizen, a status Iran does not recognise.

The academic was “sentenced to five years for gathering and conspiring against national security, and one year for propaganda against the Islamic republic,” her lawyer Said Dehghan told AFP, adding that they were to be served concurrently.

He said his client intended to appeal against her conviction.

Her trial opened on March 3 with the final hearing held on April 19 at branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.

Adelkhah has been severely weakened by a 49-day hunger strike she mounted between late December and February, her lawyer said.

Her French colleague Marchal, who was detained while visiting her in Tehran, is also a researcher at the Centre for International Research (CERI) at Sciences Po.

He is a specialist in sub-Saharan Africa, while she is a specialist in Shiite Islam.

Marchal was freed after France released Iranian engineer Jallal Rohollahnejad, who faced extradition to the United States over accusations he violated US sanctions against Iran.

Washington has said that it “deeply regrets” that decision.

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