The French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, who Tehran has sentenced to five years in prison but recently lived under house arrest, has been detained again, the French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, demanding her immediate release.
The new move against Adelkhah, a researcher affiliated with Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po University whose deprivation of liberty had triggered a rift between the two countries earlier, comes as France and other Western powers negotiate with Iran to revive a nuclear deal.
“The decision to re-imprison her, which we condemn, can only have negative consequences for the relationship between France and Iran and reduce trust between our two countries,” the ministry said in a statement.
“France demands the immediate release of Ms. Adelkhah,” it added.
Adelkhah was arrested in 2019 and sentenced to five years in prison in 2020 before being placed under house arrest.
French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Tehran at the time of Adelkhah’s first imprisonment, saying she had been arrested arbitrarily, a claim dismissed as “propaganda” by Iranian officials.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry reiterated France’s position that Iran’s treatment of the academic was politically motivated.
A group of her supporters said in a tweet on Wednesday that Adelkhah was being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.
( Jowharwith REUTERS)