Benjamin Brière, a French tourist who was accused of spying and imprisoned by the Iranian authorities in 2020, and Bernard Phelan, a travel consultant who holds joint French and Irish nationality and who was imprisoned in October 2022 on similar charges, arrived in Paris on Friday evening, weakened by their several hunger strikes to protest their innocence.
France has confirmed that two of its nationals, a man and a woman, have been detained in Iran and has dismissed as 'baseless' claims by the Iranian authorities that the pair were planning to cause 'chaos, social disorder and instability'.
Two academics, one from the prestigious Paris Sciences Po school of political sciences, the other from Melbourne University’s Asia Institute, are currently detained in atrocious conditions in separate prisons in Iran. Anthropologist Fariba Adelkhah, who has joint French-Iranian nationality, is serving a five-year sentence at the notorious Evin prison in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s national security, and Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic studies with joint British-Australian nationality, is serving a ten-year sentence for alleged espionage at Iran’s harshest women’s prison located in desert land south of the capital. Both strongly proclaim their innocence, but appear trapped in what their colleagues believe is a ruthless game of hostage taking and prisoner swaps. Jean-Pierre Perrin reports.
A five-year jail sentence pronounced in May by the Iranian authorities agaisnt Fariba Adelkhah, 61, a research director at the Paris political sciences university Sciences Po who was arrested last year in Tehran for allegedly 'conspiring against national security', was upheld on appeal on Tuesday.
Anthropologist Fariba Adelkhah, 61, a researcher with the Sciences Po school in Paris, and who was arreseted and jailed in Iran in June 2019, has been handed a six-year jail sentence by a Tehran court which found her guilty of charges of endangering Iranian national security and spreading anti-state propaganda, said a statement published by Sciences Po on Saturday on its website.
French social sciences researcher Roland Marchal, 64, who was released by Iran in a prisoner exchange last month after spending nine months in jail on spying charges, has described the harsh conditions of isolation he was held in after his arrest and that of fellow researcher Fariba Adelkhah, who remains in a Tehran prison.
A support group calling for the release of two French academic researchers, Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, held since last June in a Tehran prison on allegations of threatening Iranian national security, has said that Adelkhah, who began a hunger strike in December, is now 'very weakened' and that Marchal is suffering worsened ill health due to his captivity.
France, Germany and the UK have set in train a dispute mechanism allowed in a 2015 deal over Iran's nuclear programme, following Tehran's decision to remove limits to its production of enriched uranium which can be used in the making of nuclear weapons.
Carried out on the orders of Donald Trump, the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian military commander, is one step further towards the abyss of war. Though the future is never written in advance, how can one avoid the thought that the America government has put the world in peril by behaving as a rogue state, trampling on international law, asks Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel. France, he argues, would do itself great honour by saying so loudly and clearly.