British-Iranian anthropologist sentenced to nine years for 'destructive' child marriage, FGM research in Iran
A court in Iran has sentenced a British-Iranian anthropologist to nine years for involvement in "destructive" research work, state-backed Iran media reported on Sunday.
Kameel Ahmady, a researcher whose work covers child marriage and female genital mutiliation, was handed the preliminary sentence by the 15th District of Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary court and handed a $600,000 fine, according to Tasnim.
The report describes a hefty list of charges, which include producing "fake reports" for UN human rights organisations, collaborating with hostile, foreign media, visiting Israel as a BBC journalist, cooperating with European embassies to promote homosexuality as well as infiltration to change the laws regarding the age of marriage.
The agency also said Ahmady was of accused "embezzlement through undertaking projects linked to destructive organisations."
His lawyer, Amir Raeesian, wrote in a tweet that his client, "a researcher and anthropologist" had been sentenced to 8, rather than 9, for "collaborating with an enemy state".
He added that he intended to appeal the ruling and said "we are still hopeful".
Reasons for the apparent discrepancy surrounding the length of Ahmady's sentence were not immediately clear.
Addressing his own followers on social media, the British-Iranian researcher said that he had been detained for 100 days and subject to extrajudicial interrogation, with no access to a lawyer.
He said the ruling came about from two no specialist sittings of the court, in a process mired with right violations.
Ahmady has published books and papers on Iran covering issues such as child labour, FGM and child marriage. In his statement, he said he was targeted by authorities for his research on "harmful traditions in deprived regions of Iran"
The UK has expressed concern regarding the case and sought further information, BBC Persian report.
Iran, which does not recognise dual citizenship, has arrested dozens of dual national in efforts to win concession from other countries, human rights organisations say.
The Islamic republic staunchly dismisses these charges.