Colleagues of Adelkhah hold placards depicting her as they gather in Paris on January 13, 2022.
Photo credit || Thomas Coex, AFP
On August 9, 2022, a day after the US-led negotiations with Tehran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal were concluded in Vienna, Iranian authorities released Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah on furlough for five days, with the possibility of renewal.
Adelkhah is an anthropologist at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), whose research focuses on Shia clergy in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She was arrested in Tehran in 2019 along with the French sociologist Roland Marchal, and sentenced to five years in prison on national security charges. While Marchal was released in March 2020, after France freed Iranian engineer Jalal Ruhollahnejad, Adelkhah stayed in prison for three years. According to the Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal Support Committee, the latest furlough decision provides only “temporary relief from [Adelkhah’s] suffering.”
Adelkhah is not the only dual national imprisoned by Iranian authorities. Ahmedreza Djalali, Swedish-Iranian dual citizen and scholar of disaster medicine, has also been imprisoned on politically motivated, unsubstantiated charges and, according to the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights officials, he confessed to the espionage charges under torture. Djalali was sentenced to death in 2017 and since then has been frequently threatened with imminent execution.
We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide condemn the arbitrary detention of scholars in Iran and urge the Iranian government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international human rights law and treaties. ESW further calls upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to promoting and defending human rights to protest and condemn the continued abuse of scholars and researchers by the Iranian authorities.