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Iran temporarily releases French-Iranian academic from jail, lawyer says

October 4, 2020 at 2:07 pm

A banner with a portrait of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, imprisoned in Iran, hangs on the facades of the French university Sciences Po, in Paris, on June 5, 2020 [BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran has temporarily released French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, who has been in jail after being convicted of security breaches, her lawyer said on Twitter on Saturday.

“Fariba Adelkhah has come out (of prison) on leave with an electronic ankle bracelet,” Saeid Dehghan said in a tweet, without giving any other details of the release.

There was no immediate official statement on the case from Iran’s judiciary.

France had in June demanded that Adelkhah, 61, an anthropologist held since 2019, be released immediately, saying her detention was harming trust between the two countries.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals in recent years, mostly on espionage charges.

Read: French criticisms complicate case of jailed academic, Iran says

In March, Iran granted temporary release to British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe along with thousands of other prisoners following concerns over the spread of the coronavrirus in prisons.

In March, Iran and France carried out a prisoner swap, exchanging academic Roland Marchal for engineer Jalal Ruhollahnejad.

However, since then there had been little sign that Adelkhah would be released and she was sentenced in May to six years in prison on security-related charges.

Relations between France and Iran have improved over the last year but remain tense due to Iran’s nuclear activities, its ballistic missile programme and regional activities.