On vague, seemingly politically motivated charges, 60-year-old Iranian Anthropologist sentenced to six years in Prison. Adelkhah has been studying in France for the past 40 years and is seen as an expert on Iran and Shi’ite Islam. At Sciences Po University she is the Director of Research at the Center for International Studies. In June 2019 she was arrested in Iran while visiting her family and pursuing academic research. The courts recognized the flawed nature of the charges and ordered her conditional release in December, dropping the most serious of the charges. CCS on several occasions has written the Iranian government asking them to facilitate her release – we are doing so again as her medical situation has made the need for her release dire.
June 16, 2020
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)
Dear President Rouhani:
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 an Iranian national with a French passport who was sentenced in May to six years in prison on vague and politically motivated charges. Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron called for her immediate release, and we urge you to heed that call.
We first expressed to you our concerns about the unjust detention of Fariba Adelhah in a letter dated July 30, 2019, and we wrote again on April 7 of this year after learning that she had been taken to the prison hospital when her health deteriorated drastically and she reportedly suffered kidney damage.
We are appalled that Fariba Adelkhah has now been convicted and sentenced to prison on charges, including “propaganda against the system” and “colluding to commit acts against national security” that are arbitrary, political in nature, and represent an assault on 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 academic research and visiting family. The Iranian judiciary, in fact, recognized the flawed nature of the charges against Fariba Adelkhah and ordered her conditional release in December – dropping the espionage charges.
That she remained detained, despite that ruling, confirms that her detention and prosecution appear arbitrary and unjust.
Fariba Adelkhah should be released immediately and unconditionally, and she should be allowed to pursue her important scholarship without further hindrance or intimidation. We urge you to ensure this occurs.
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