About them

Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, both researchers at Sciences Po’s Center for International Studies (CERI), were arrested in Iran in June 2019. They have been detained in the wing of Evin prison (Tehran) overseen by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. They are not the only scientific prisoners of the Islamic Republic.

Roland Marchal has been released on March 20th, 2020 and is back among us. On 16 May 2020, Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to six years in prison by the 15th Chamber of the Tehran Court.

Our struggle continues for the liberation of Fariba !


Academic portrait of Fariba Adelkhah in English, French, and Farsi

Academic portrait of Roland Marchal in English, French, and Farsi


Detained in Evin since June 5th, 2019

After 49 days, Fariba Adelkhah has officially ended her hunger strike on February 12th, 2020.



The Support Committee

Our international support committee was officialised in October 2019. Its aim is to mobilize the academic community for the release of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, and to defend the independence and freedom of research in regions of the world where it is increasingly threatened and politically exploited.

Why this blog ?

The aim of this academic blog is to engage with the ideas of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal which are still « at large » . It intends to maintain their presence in the academic public space pending their release, not for hagiographic purposes, which would be ill-suited to their modesty, but to continue to draw inspiration from their scientific contribution and their fieldwork practices.

Based on extensive investigations in Iran and Afghanistan on the one hand, in Somalia, Sudan, the Central African Republic or Chad on the other, their respective approaches have in common to think backward of mainstream analysis frameworks in order to propose a fresh understanding of local societies and global issues. Each in their own way, they took part in important theoretical and methodological debates on major issues – violence, war, military interventions, political economy, land, religion, practices of faith, political Islam.

This blog wants to continue to build on our two colleagues’ seminal research, either by discussing topics they have explored as entry points or by using their writings to inform other themes. As an interface of the numerous institutional or associative initiatives in support of Fariba and Roland, this blog will echo the events, actions and publications carried out on their behalf, in the hope that these reflections will resonate throughout the academic community and that this mobilization will help to liberate them.

On behalf of its entire community, Sciences Po welcomes the launch of this blog and shares the hopes underlying this initiative.

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