Iran has rejected France’s call for the release of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah (pictured), a political prisoner since June 2019.
Paris has stepped up its appeals since Adelkhah, an anthropologist at Sciences Po University, was sentenced earlier this month to 5 years in prison for “gathering and conspiring against national security and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday that France will take a tougher stance against Iran following the “politically-motivated” sentence.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slapped down Le Drian on Wednesday: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not tolerate at all any discrediting of its principles of governance, including independence of its judiciary.”
Mousavi emphasized that the Islamic Republic does not recognize dual nationality, referring to the “crimes of Iranian citizens”. He proclaimed that Adelkhah enjoys “full citizenship rights” as an Iranian and that she can appeal the sentence.
Adelkhah and her Sciences Po colleague and partner Roland Marchal, also seized last year, were due to go on trial in March, but proceedings were postponed because of Iran’s Coronavirus outbreak.
Marchal was released in a prisoner swap later in the month, but Adelkhah’s trial began on April 19.
On Christmas Eve 2019, Adelkhah and Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert began a hunger strike seeking freedom for all researchers and political prisoners “unjustly imprisoned on trumped-up charges”. They ended their fast after six weeks.