Iran Sends French-Iranian Academic Fariba Adelkah Back to Prison

Iran on Jan. 12 sent French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkah back to prison amid talks with France and other western powers to revive the 2015 deal on the Iranian nuclear program.

“It is with great shock and indignation that we have been informed that Fariba Adelkhah… has been re-imprisoned in the prison of Evin,” a committee set up to support her release said in a statement.

Iranian authorities arrested Adelkhah in Tehran in 2019 and sentenced her to five years in prison in 2020 for conspiring against national security. Authorities later put her under house arrest with an electronic bracelet.

The committee said that the Iranian government was using Adelkhah “for external or internal purposes that remain opaque, and that have nothing to do with her activities.”

The committee also said that the Iranian government was “deliberately” endangering Adelkhah, pointing to the death of poet Baktash Abtin last weekend after he contracted COVID-19 while in Iranian custody.

In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry warned that the move could have “negative consequences on the relationship between France and Iran and reduce confidence between our two countries.”

“As we have emphasized on several occasions, Ms. Adelkhah’s conviction is not based on any serious element: it is purely political and arbitrary… France demands the immediate release of Ms. Adelkhah,” the French Foreign Ministry said.

Sciences Po university, where Adelkhah is a research director, also condemned her new imprisonment and called for her immediate release.

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