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Fariba Adelkhah

French Academic Held by Iran Sent Back to Prison After 5-day Reprieve

A French-Iranian academic held in Iran for the past three years in a case that has raised tensions between Tehran and Paris has returned to prison after a brief furlough, her supporters said.

Fariba Adelkhah was last week allowed to leave Tehran’s Evin prison for five days. Hopes that the measure may be extended were not fulfilled, her support group said in a statement published late Sunday, August 14.

“Unfortunately, Fariba’s five-day leave was not extended, or transformed into house arrest,” it said. “It gave her a break, but it’s still bad news.”

Activists say that at least 20 foreign and dual nationals are being held by Tehran on baseless charges, in a deliberate policy of hostage diplomacy aimed at extracting concessions from the West.

It is relatively common for prisoners in Iran to be allowed brief leave for a time at home with families before returning to jail. A specialist in Shiite Islam and a research director at Sciences Po university in Paris, Adelkhah was arrested in June 2019 along with her French colleague and partner Roland Marchal. (TOI / VFI News)