June 30 (Reuters) – Iran‘s appeals court has confirmed a five-year prison sentence for Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah on security charges, the judiciary’s official Mizan news agency reported on Tuesday.
Adelkhah was sentenced in May to a total of six years in prison. She denied the charges and her lawyer said at the time that she would appeal against the sentence.
An Iranian judiciary spokesman said the charges involved “gathering and collusion towards taking action against the security of the country”.
French authorities have called the charges baseless and earlier this month demanded that Adelkhah be released immediately, saying her detention was harming trust between the two countries.
“The appeals court has upheld Adelkhah’s five-year jail sentence,” Mizan quoted Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying. “Of course she has another sentence which is one-and-half years but considering the time she has been in jail, she will only serve five years in total.”
Iran does not recognise dual nationality and has rejected France’s calls to free the 60-year-old anthropologist detained since June 2019, saying the case is an Iranian domestic legal matter.
“We condemn this decision by the Iranian authorities, who persist in detaining Fariba Adelkhah despite the absence of serious evidence or fact, with an exclusively political objective,” French Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in an online briefing.
“We remain determined to secure the release of our compatriot.”
(Writing and reporting by Parisa Hafezi with Additional reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva and John Irish in Paris Editing by Alison Williams and Mark Heinrich)