In support of Fariba Adelkhah

Fariba Adelkhah 500 days of detention


Media coverage available here 

To support the campaign, follow @FaribaRoland on Twitter





March 2021: Critique Internationale dedicated a special issue to the work of Fariba Adelkhah. Read the introduction and the editorial, online:

- Editorial: Freedom for Fariba Adelkhah, by the Editorial Committee

- Introduction: "Fariba Adelkhah, or the One Thousand and One Borders of Anthropological Fieldwork", by Béatrice Hibou

December 2020: Fariba has been awarded the Irène Joliot-Curie "female scientist of the year award"! More info here.

November 2020: Arrested in Tehran in June 2019, and then sentenced to 5 years in prison on the basis of false accusations, our colleague, Fariba Adelkhah has long studied a wide range of travels. In this introductory article –  “Rereading Fariba Adelkhah: on the road from Teheran to Damascus” – we present one of her works, in which she reveals the unexpected dimensions of a pilgrimage of Iranian women to Damascus. Her anthropological perspective uncovers the social significance of the details of daily life

15 October 2020: Sciences Po continues to mobilise all its communities on behalf of our colleague and friend, Fariba Adelkhah, who is still incarcerated in Iran. We will not abandon our calls for her unconditional release.

A socially distant and masked human chain took place over the lunch break on 15 October. Starting at 1:30pm, the chain ran from 27 rue St Guillaume to 56 rue Jacob.

Sciences Po strongly supports Fariba and renews once again our calls for her unconditional release.

9 October 2020 : During the Dies Academicus 2020, the University of Geneva awarded Fariba Adelkhah the title of Honoris Causa, in support of her fight for academic freedom and as an acknowledgment of her great work as an anthropologist.

Fariba Adelkhah Dies Academicus 2020 Geneva

3 October 2020: Iran grants Fariba temporary release! She is currently in Tehran with her family with an electronic bracelet

30 June 2020: Iran's Appeal Court has confirmed the five-year prison sentence for Fariba.

5 June 2020: Fariba Adelkhah, researcher at the CERI Sciences Po, has now been in prison in Iran for one year.

Frederic Mion's letter of support can be accessed here


On 16 May 2020, Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to six years in prison by the 15th Chamber of the Tehran Court. 

Read the letter sent by Olivier Duhamel, President of the FNSP, and Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po, to Sciences Po communities on 16 May 2020.

25 April 2020: Frédéric Mion, Olivier Duhamel, Roland Ries, Anne Hidalgo and Jean-Yves Le Drian send Fariba their wishes for her birthday. See the card here.

We have been in lockdown for more than a month. Fariba Adelkhah, a researcher at the International Research Centre of Sciences Po Paris, has been in prison for more than 300 days in Iran. By posting her face on the websites of academic institutions and research teams in Europe and elsewhere, we want to show the support of the scientific community and urge the French government to do everything possible to secure her release.

Fariba Adelkhah 300 days in prison in Iran

Copyright: Stéphanie Samper

Fariba Fariba is in danger. We must act urgently for her.

20 March 2020: Roland Marchal has been released after nine long months (290 days) of detention in Iran.

Read the text by Alain Dieckhoff, director of CERI.

Read the text by Olivier Duhamel (President of the FNSP) and Frédéric Mion (Director of SciencesPo).

3 March 2020: Official date of the trial. Silent gatherings at Sciences Po, Paris, in Strasbourg and in Geneva, in support of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal.

2 March 2020: Fariba Adelkhah awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Geneva.

20 February 2020: Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, former students of the city of Strasbourg, awarded the city's medal of honour, in absencia.

17 February 2020: 
Meeting of support for Fariba Adelkhah, Roland Marchal, Kylie Moore-Gilbert and other detainees
 "Unjustified Captives: Knowledge under Attack" King’s College London.

16 February 2020: Read the tribute published on Democracy in Africa.

11 February: Silent gathering at the Parvis des Droits de l'Homme, Trocadero, Paris, in support of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, with dancer Alioune Diagne. Watch the video of the event.

5 February 2020: CNRS Section 40 asks for immediate end of academic cooperation with Iran. Read the communiqué (French only)

31 January 2020: Access the full podcast of the conference Captifs sans Motifs, 31 January 2020, Sciences Po, and a short video with some of the participants.

16 January 2020: The CNRS demands the immediate release of the researchers detained in Iran. Read the press release

Fariba Adelkhah and Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian academic also detained at Evin prison, began a hunger strike on 24 December 2019 to demand their release but also that of other academic prisoners in Iran and the Middle East. In the name of academic freedom, both are entering a new phase of struggle and are calling for our support.They issued an open letter available here.

In the European Parliament resolution of 19 December 2019 on the violent crackdown on the recent protests in Iran (2019/2993(RSP)), the European Parliament "urges the Iranian authorities to immediately release Roland Marchal and Fariba Adelkhah, as well as all the human rights defenders who have been imprisoned and sentenced for simply exercising their rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly".


By Jean-François Bayart, Professor at IHEID (Geneva). Incarcerated in Iran since the beginning of June, Fariba Adelkhah, a specialist in social anthropology and political anthropology of post-revolutionary Iran, has been a researcher at the Centre for International Studies (CERI) since 1993. Her initial work focused on women and the Islamic Revolution. Her current research focuses on the circulation of Shiite clerics between Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Internationally recognised and respected by her peers, Fariba Adelkhah is today an academic prisoner... Read more

Roland Marchal, chercheur au CERI, emprisonné en Iran depuis juin 2019


Biography written by Didier Péclard, University of Geneva, and Sandrine Perrot (CERI Sciences Po). Roland Marchal is a sociologist with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and he has worked as a researcher at the Centre for International Studies of Sciences Po (CERI) since 1997. Today, he is an academic prisoner. Much of Roland Marchal's research has focused on analyzing civil wars in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in their relation to state formation. Roland is a tireless and energetic fieldworker, meticulous and zealous in his research. He has always pushed himself to the limits in a quest to bring out innovations and nuances throughout his research interests... Read more


The 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.

About the International Suppport Committee

The detention in Iran of our colleague Roland Marchal was revealed to the public in October Fariba Adelkhah’s incarceration was made known in July.

Two prominent French academics, both internationally renowned researchers, are in prison in Teheran today.

Fariba, an anthropologist, joined CERI in 1993. Roland, a sociologist with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), has been part of CERI since 1997.

Twice now our centre has been affected by this incomprehensible and unprecedented attack on French citizens.

All members of CERI assure Fariba and Roland of their unwavering support and friendship during this terrible ordeal and share their families’ anxiety.

The CERI in its entirety vigorously condemns this blatant and unacceptable violation of the freedom of research by the Iranian authorities, in the case of Fariba and Roland, as well as that of all the other researchers detained in Iran, whatever their nationality.

They urge the French, European and international academic community of every discipline to suspend all current cooperation with Iran as a sign of solidarity and protest.

CERI, 16 October 2019


Les Dossiers du CERI

July 2013
Sahel and the Mali crisis
Coordinated by Roland Marchal

May 2013
Iran : une époque révolue
Coordinated by Fariba Adelkhah



December 11, 2018
Réagencement des régimes autoritaires dans la grande Corne de l’Afrique
Scientific responsibility: 
Jean-Nicolas Bach and Roland Marchal

Novembre 13, 2018
Aspects d'une économie politique de la guerre civile en RCA
Scientific responsibility: 
Roland Marchal

Novembre 6, 2018
Crise de l'ethno-fédéralisme et réorientation du Developmental State en Éthiopie
Scientific responsibility: 
Sandrine Perrot, Richard Banégas, Laurent Fourchard and Roland Marchal

September 14, 2018
Governance and Security in the Sahel
Scientific responsibility: 
Roland Marchal and Rachel Beatty Riedl

May 26, 2016
Regards comparés sur l'Etat au Sahel
Scientific responsibility: 
Roland Marchal and Rachel Beatty Riedl

April 14, 2014
Militant Masks in Nigeria. Youth and Insecurity in the Niger Delta
Scientific responsibility: 
Sandrine Perrot, Richard Banégas and Roland Marchal

February 11, 2013
Interventions au Mali et enjeux régionaux
Roland Marchal



2016, Routledge
The Thousand and One Borders of Iran. Travel and Identity
Fariba Adelkhah

2013, Éditions Le Cavalier Bleu
Les paradoxes de l’Iran. Idées reçues sur la République islamique
Fariba Adelkhah

2012, Éditions Karthala
Les mille et une frontières de l'Iran. Quand les voyages forment la nation
Fariba Adelkhah

2011, Routledge
The Moral Economy of the Madrasa. Islam and Education Today
Fariba Adelkhah and Keiko Sakurai (Eds)

2007, Éditions Karthala
Voyages du développement. Emigration, commerce, exil
Fariba Adelkhah and Jean-François Bayart (Eds)

2006, Éditions Karthala
Être moderne en Iran
Fariba Adelkhah

2003, Éditions Karthala
Guerres et sociétés. États et violence après la Guerre froide
Pierre Hassner and Roland Marchal (Eds)

2001, CNRS Éditions
Dubaï. Cité globale
Roland Marchal (Ed.)

2000, CNRS Éditions
Ramadan et politique
Fariba Adelkhah and François Georgeon (Eds)

1997, Éditions Karthala
Les chemins de la guerre et de la paix Fins de conflits en Afrique orientale et australe
Roland Marchal and Christine Messiant

1993, Éditions Complexe
Thermidor en Iran
Fariba Adelkhah, Jean-François Bayart and Olivier Roy

1991, Éditions Karthala
La révolution sous le voile. Femmes islamiques d'Iran
Fariba Adelkhah


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