French Anthropologist remains in jail awaiting trial. Her partner has now been released and the charges against her have diminished, with one being dropped.
April 7, 2020
Sayyid Ebrahim Raisol-Sadati
Chief Justice of Iran
Ministry of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran
1638 Vali-e Asr Avenue
South of Vali-e Asr Square
Tehran, Iran 14167-83595
Dear Chief Justice Raisol-Sadati:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to again express our grave concern for Fariba Adelkhah, a 60-year-old anthropologist who is a French-Iranian citizen currently in detention at Evin Prison awaiting a trial that was set to begin March 3. We first expressed our concerns to you in a letter dated July 30, 2019. We have now learned that in late February Fariba Adelkhah was taken to the prison hospital when her health deteriorated drastically after she initiated a hunger strike earlier in the month. She has reportedly suffered kidney damage.
We urge you to ensure that Fariba Adelkhah has all the medical care she may need. This should include the possibility of releasing her and allowing her to return to France for treatment.
Beyond these extremely serious health concerns, we are disturbed that Fariba Adelkhah and her colleague, French national Roland Marchal (who has now been released), face vague charges, including “propaganda against the system” and “colluding to commit acts against national security” that are arbitrary, political in nature, and are opposed to academic freedom and basic human rights.
Fariba Adelkhah has been studying and teaching in France for over 40 years, since 1977, and is a recognized expert on Iran and Shi’ite Islam currently based at Sciences Po University where she is the director of research at the Center for International Studies (CERI). She was arrested in Tehran on June 7, 2019 while conducting research and visiting family. Roland Marchal, an expert on East Africa, was arrested at the same time.
The Iranian judiciary has errors in the charges against Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, ordering their conditional release in December and dropping espionage charges against Fariba Adelkhah.
That she remains detained and is about to be put on trial, despite these rulings, confirms that her detention and prosecution is seemingly arbitrary and unjust, especially considering that her partner has now been released.
We call on you to look closely at this case with a view to dropping the charges and allowing Fariba Adelkhah to be released immediately and unconditionally, and allowed to pursue her important scholarship without further hindrance or intimidation.
We thank you for your attention to this most serious matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
H.E. Gholamali Khoshroo
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 687-2020
Fax: (212) 867-7086
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)