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Iran sentences French academic to 5 years: lawyer

Iran sentences French academic to 5 years: lawyer”

An Iranian court has sentenced a prominent researcher with dual French-Iranian citizenship to six years in prison on security charges, her lawyer said Saturday.

"The branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court has sentenced her to five years jail for gathering and conspiring against Iran's national security".

"This sentencing is not based on any serious element or fact and is thus a political decision", the ministry said in a statement.

She was arrested in June 2019 along with fellow researcher Roland Marchal.

This file handout picture taken in 2012 in an undisclosed location and released on July 16, 2019, by Sciences Po university shows Franco-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah as Iran confirmed her arrest without giving any details of her case, the latest in a long list of dual nationals held in the country's prisons.

Dehghan said Adelkhah has been in high spirits since the release of Marchal.

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He said his client would only be expected to serve the longer, five-year jail term and added that she meant to appeal.

Marchal, who was accused of "colluding to commit acts against national security", was allowed to return home to France in March after being released in a prisoner swap between Paris and Tehran. Some, including British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, are on temporary release because of the coronavirus pandemic.

She initially also faced espionage charges but saw them dropped in March.

Dehghan said Adelkhah will appeal the ruling. He was held in a men's ward in Evin on charges of spreading propaganda.

"At least two people must be involved for this charge to stand", he said.

Ms Adelkhah has protested her innocence and on 24 December she began a hunger strike at Tehran's Evin prison along with the Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, according to Science Po.



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