Iran sentences French academic to five years in prison: Lawyer

Fariba Adelkhah (Twitter)

Iran sentenced a French-Iranian academic to five years in prison on national security charges on Saturday, her lawyer told AFP.

Fariba Adelkhah was “sentenced to five years for gathering and conspiring against national security, and one year for propaganda against the Islamic republic,” Said Dehghan said.

He said his client would only be expected to serve the longer, five-year jail term and added that she intended to appeal.

Adelkhah, a specialist in Shia Islam and a research director at Sciences Po university in Paris, was arrested in June last year.

She is a citizen of Iran and France, but Tehran does not recognize dual nationality.

Her trial started on March 3 with the last hearing held on April 19 at branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court.

Adelkhah's French colleague and partner Roland Marchal, who was detained along with her, was released in March in an apparent prisoner swap.

Marchal was freed after France released Iranian engineer Jallal Rohollahnejad, who faced extradition to the United States over accusations he violated US sanctions against Iran.

Washington has said that it “deeply regrets” that decision.

Dehghan said Marchal's release gives grounds for appeal against the charge of “gathering and conspiring against national security.”

“At least two people must be involved for this charge to stand,” he said.

Adelkhah's defense team also plans to argue that her personal academic opinion regarding the Islamic dress code enforced in Iran cannot amount to “propaganda against a political system.”

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Last Update: Saturday, 16 May 2020 KSA 10:58 - GMT 07:58
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