Iran Releases Academic Roland Marchal in Prisoner Swap—Hopes for Fariba Adelkhah’s Release

Updated: May 12, 2020

Endangered Scholars Worldwide learned that on March 21, 2020 Iran freed Roland Marchal after a prisoner swap with France. Marchal was arrested on June 2019 upon arrival at the airport in Tehran along with the French Iranian anthropologist Fariba Adelkhah, who was also arrested that day.

In Marchal’s first public statement since returning to France, he said that the isolation was worse than the interrogations.

“I was not physically tortured, but I suffered greatly from my confinement, and above all, my isolation,” he wrote in a message transmitted by his support group of friends and colleagues.

“Much more than the interrogations, it is confinement—very different to the type imposed on us because of the coronavirus—which proved very painful.”

Following the release of Marchal, Sciences Po released a statement expressing “immense joy” and “great relief” but also said that they can “celebrate fully (only) when both of our friends are with us again.”