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French Academic Held in Iran Ends Hunger Strike

French Academic Held in Iran Ends Hunger Strike

Wednesday, 12 February, 2020 - 11:00
A prison guard in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison. (Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, jailed in a Tehran prison since June, ended a six-week hunger strike on Wednesday, according to her lawyer.

"Adelkhah responded to a written request from civil and political activists and ended her hunger strike at midday (0830 GMT) today," lawyer Said Dehghan told Agence France Presse.

Dehghan expressed relief that Adelkhah had ended the hunger strike that she began on December 24, but said she remained fragile.

"Her mental and physical condition is not good, she has been weakened," he said. "Her voice was difficult to hear and she has difficulty walking."

Adelkhah, a specialist in Shiite Islam and a research director at Sciences Po University in Paris, is in Evin prison as she awaits her trial.

Adelkhah's French colleague Roland Marchal was arrested while visiting her, according to Dehghan, who represents both academics.

Last week, Dehghan said that Adelkhah and Marchal, both in their 60s — filed separate requests to Evin prison authorities to allow them to get married.

Their case has raised tensions between Iran and France, which has called for them to be released as a "gesture" of goodwill.

In December, France summoned the Iranian ambassador to Paris to say it considered the months-long detention of Adelkhah and Marchal “unacceptable” and sought permission for consular officials to visit them.

Dehghan has told The Associated Press that the French Embassy has had consular access only to Marchal. Iran doesn't recognize dual nationality for its citizens.

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