Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, both researchers at Sciences Po’s Center for International Studies (CERI), were arrested in Iran on June 5, 2019. They were first detained in the wing of Evin prison (Tehran) overseen by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Roland Marchal was released on March 20, 2020 and is back among us. Fariba went on hunger strike for 49 days (from December 24, 2019 to February 12, 2020). On 16 May 2020, Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to six years in prison by the 15th Chamber of the Tehran Court on trumped-up charges and without any proper trial. She was under house arrest with an electronic bracelet from october 3, 2020 until she was brutally re-imprisoned on January 12, 2022.
Fariba Adelkhah is innocent and the Iranian authorities know this. She is being used for political purposes that have nothing to do with her and have nothing to do with the only thing she is accountable for: her anthropological work, which has earned her high distinctions from scientific and academic institutions, both French and from other countries, and the consideration of the international research community.
She is not the only academic prisoners of the Islamic Republic.
Our struggle continues ! Free Fariba !
Detained in Evin since June 5th, 2019
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.