Jailed French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah back in prison after hospitalisation, lawyer says

Jailed French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah back in prison after hospitalisation, lawyer says
Fariba Adelkhah will go on trial with her long-time partner Roland Marchal on March 3, on charges of conspiracy against national security.
2 min read
01 March, 2020
Fariba Adelkhah is held in the same prison as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe [Getty]
A lawyer for Fariba Adelkhah on Saturday confirmed that the French-Iranian academic returned to her prison cell after being hospitalised, while expressing concerns over the health of inmates amid the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Adelkhah, a specialist in Shia Islam and a research director at Sciences Po University in Paris, is set to go on trial on March 3, on charges including conspiracy against national security.

She has been jailed in Iran since June 2019.

Adelkhah's French colleague and long-time partner Roland Marchal, an expert on East Africa, was reportedly detained at the same time while visiting her and is currently being held in the same prison.

Read more: Family of jailed British-Iranian fear she has contracted COVID-19

He will face trial alongside her.

Said Dehgan, Adelkhah's lawyer, said that despite his client's complaints of back pain, local authorities took her back to the women's section of Evin prison.

The lawyer added that he had called for conjugal visits to the prison to be halted in order to prevent any spread of the virus at the jail, a call which he said authorities took heed of. 

Adelkhah was transferred to a prison hospital when her health rapidly detiorated as "a consequence of the (six-week) hunger strike" which she ended on February, the lawyer said.

Iran holds numerous Western citizens in prison, adding to tensions between Tehran and the West in the aftermath of the unilateral rejection by the US of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

On Saturday, the husband of said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman also held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, believes she has contracted the novel coronavirus.

The Free Nazanin Campaign said that despite reports of at least one coronavirus-related inmate death inside the prison, staff had refused to test her.

In a statement issued via the campaign, Zaghari-Ratcliffe said: "I am not good. I feel very bad in fact. It is a strange cold. Not like usual. I know the kinds of cold I normally have, how my body reacts."

Iran's health ministry on Saturday reported nine new deaths from coronavirus and a 53 percent jump in infections over the previous 24 hours, taking the overall toll to 43 deaths among 593 cases.

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