researcher jailed in Iran is free and returning home


PARIS (AP) — A French researcher released from jail in Tehran as part of an apparent prisoner swap was flying home Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Macron said in a statement he was “pleased” by the release of Roland Marchal, held by Iran for more than eight months on charges of violating state security laws.

Marchal was turned over to the French Embassy in Tehran, Iranian state TV said late Friday, hours after French authorities released Jalal Ruhollahnejad, an Iranian held in France. French authorities did not comment on the case of Ruhollahnejad.

France is also pushing for the release of a second French national detained in Iran, Marchal’s fellow researcher Fariba Adelkhah.

In the French statement, the presidency urged Iranian authorities to free her immediately.

Marchal was originally arrested in June and charged with spreading propaganda after he went to Iran to visit Adelkhah, a dual French-Iranian national who is a prominent anthropologist and often traveled to Iran for research on post-revolutionary Iranian society.

Adelkhah had been arrested on espionage charges, and though those charges were later dropped, security-related charges remain against her.



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