The Facts About Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal: What We Know

Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, both researchers at Sciences Po, were arrested in Iran in early June 2019. They have remained in incarceration since.

Who is Fariba Adelkhah?

Fariba Adelkhah was born in 1959 in the Iranian province of Khorassan (a region that fronts the border with Afghanistan). She came to France in 1977 to pursue her university education, first at the University of Strasbourg and then at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). A specialist in social anthropology and the political anthropology of post-revolutionary Iran, Adelkhah has been a researcher at the Centre for International Research since 1993. Her early work considered the position of women in the Islamic Revolution, culminating in her first publication, Revolution under the Veil: Islamic Women of Iran (Karthala, 1991). Her current research examines the movement of Shia clerics between Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. A researcher of the field, renowned and respected among peers internationally, Fariba Adelkhah is a member of various academic committees and of the journals, Iranian Studies and Revue des mondes musulmans de la Méditerranée.

Adelkhah possesses dual nationality, Iranian and French.

>Read her bio

Who is Roland Marchal?

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. Roland is one of the most internationally renowned specialists on Somalia, but also on the Horn of Africa, Chad, Central African Republic and Mali. Roland also addressed theories of the “failed state”, especially drawing on his research in Somalia.

He was, with the late Christine Messiant, among the first few to criticize the reductionism of economic theories about civil wars in two groundbreaking papers published in the journal Critique internationale. Their common research, published as Les Chemins de la guerre et de la paix. Fins de conflit en Afrique orientale et australe (Karthala, 1997), demonstrated how civil wars in Sub-saharan Africa and beyond are intimately interrelated to the fabric of the state. This thinking was also the central thesis of the seminal book he co-edited with Pierre Hassner: Guerres et sociétés. Etats et violence après la Guerre froide (Karthala, 2003).

>Read his bio

Where are they being held and in what conditions?

Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal are being detained at Evin Prison, situated in the north of Tehran. Information provided to Sciences Po and the French authorities indicates that the researchers are in good health and have addressed the circumstances of their incarceration with determination and bravery.

What steps have been taken by Sciences Po and the French authorities since their detainment?

Upon receiving news of the arrests of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, our institution immediately implemented a series of actions in close collaboration with the Crisis and Support Centre of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the CNRS.

With the help of the MEAE, we have ensured that both receive the assistance of a highly experienced Iranian lawyer. Approved by the Iranian judicial authorities, this lawyer therefore assures the two of them a defence that is both watertight and officially authorised.

Working within the context of Iran’s particularly complex political climate, Sciences Po and the French authorities are putting every possible action in place to liberate Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal.

> Visit the Support Committee website