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Iran Confirms Jailing Of French-Iranian Academic Again

Fariba Adelkhah (file photo)

Iranian authorities confirmed that they have re-incarcerated French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah for breaking house arrest restrictions.

The judiciary news website on January 16 quoted the deputy head of the judiciary, Kazem Gharibabadi, as saying Adelkhah, who had been furloughed with an electronic-monitoring bracelet, violated judicial restrictions “dozens of times.”

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The official claimed that Adelkhah, 62, violated the limits of her house arrest “despite repeated warnings from judicial authorities.”

On January 12, the French Foreign Ministry condemned Adelkhah's new imprisonment and demanded her immediate release, saying her case has negative consequences on the relationship between Paris and Tehran.

She holds both Iranian and French passports, but Iran doesn’t recognize dual nationality. Iranian officials insist that Adelkhah is an Iranian citizen and have denied French consular staff access to her.

Adelkhah, an expert on Iran and Shi’a Islam at France's prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies, was arrested on June 5, 2019, at Tehran airport.

Adelkhah was given a five-year sentence for conspiring against national security. Iranian authorities have not provided any solid evidence to back the charges.

In October 2020, she was allowed to live under house arrest at her sister’s home in Tehran, wearing an electronic-monitoring bracelet.

Adelkhah is one of at least a dozen Western nationals believed to be held in Iran. Rights groups accuse Iran of using foreign detainees as bargaining chips for money or influence in negotiations with the West.

Iran denies it, though there have been such prisoner exchanges in the past. In March 2020, Iran released Adelkhah's French colleague and partner, Roland Marchal, in a prisoner exchange with France.

Marchal, who was arrested in June 2019 alongside Adelkhah, was swapped for Iranian engineer Jalal Ruhollahnejad.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP