Iran drops spying charges for detained French academic

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Researcher Fariba Adelkhah began an indefinite hunger strike last month

Jan 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

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Iran has dropped espionage charges against a French-Iranian academic detained in the country since June last year, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

“The espionage charge has been dropped” for Sciences Po University Fariba Adelkhah, lawyer Said Dehghan told AFP. She is still facing three other charges.

A research director at the prestigious university in Paris, specialising in the study of Shiite Islam, Ms Adelkhah’s arrest for suspected “espionage” was confirmed on July 16 by Iran's judicial spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

Her colleague Roland Marchal was arrested while visiting Ms Adelkhah, according to his lawyer.

The university and supporters said last month that Ms Adelkhah and another detained academic, Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert, had started an indefinite hunger strike just before Christmas.

Last month France said it had summoned Iran's ambassador to protest the imprisonment of the academics, calling their detention "intolerable".

The French statement said the ministry had made clear to the ambassador "our grave concern over the situation of Mrs Fariba Adelkhah, who has stopped taking food".

Tehran, which does not recognise dual nationality, has previously criticised Paris for "unacceptable interference" in its domestic affairs after the French government sought consular access to Ms Adelkhah.

Updated: January 7, 2020 03:14 PM

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