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French Academics Warn About French-Iranian Colleague's Hunger Strike In Iran Prison

Fariba Adelkhah and Kylie Moore-Gilbert locked up in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison went on a hunger strike on Christmas Eve. FILE PHOTOS

In a letter published in Le Monde newspaper on December 26, two French scholars warned about the consequences of the hunger strike of the Franco-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah in Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

In the letter published by Le Monde, Adelkhah's colleagues Jean-Francois Bayart and Beatrice Hibou said that her determination to continue her hunger strike should not be doubted. "Knowing her for a long time, we know that she is ready to die like a lion defending her freedom, her job and her dignity".

Fariba Adelkhah and Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert have been on hunger strike in a ward controlled by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) at Evin prison since December 24.

In an open letter sent to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) by a source with contacts inside the prison on Christmas Eve, Fariba Adelkhah and Kylie and Moore-Gilbert said they would be refusing food and water indefinitely.

The two women who have been isolated in a ward controlled by the Revolutionary Guards called for international solidarity as they launched a hunger for the freedom of all academics "unjustly imprisoned" in Iran "on trumped-up charges".

At least 9 other foreign nationals or residents are currently imprisoned in Iran on such charges.

In the letter smuggled out of the prison Adelkhah, who has been in prison for over seven months, and Moore-Gilbert, detained for over 15 months, said they have been subjected to psychological torture and numerous violations of their basic human rights.

"We are striking not only to demand our immediate freedom, but to ask for justice for the countless, thousands, unnamed yet not forgotten men and women who have suffered the same fate as ours or worse, and have been imprisoned in Iran, having committed no crime," the two women wrote in their letter. Adelkhah, 60, is an anthropologist and researching director of "Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques" (National Foundation of Political Sciences). She was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in June while on a visit to Iran. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne, was arrested in September 2018 and according to Iranian authorities has been indicted for "spying for a country other than Australia".