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French academic held in Iran ends hunger strike ―Lawyer

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French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, jailed in Iran since June, ended a six-week hunger strike on Wednesday, according to her lawyer. “Adelkhah responded to a written request from civil and political activists and ended her hunger strike at midday (0830 GMT) today,” lawyer Said Dehghan told AFP.

Dehghan expressed relief that Adelkhah had ended the hunger strike that she began on December 24, but said she remained fragile. “Her mental and physical condition is not good, she has been weakened,” he said. “Her voice was difficult to hear and she has difficulty walking.”

Adelkhah, a specialist in Shiite Islam and a research director at Sciences Po University in Paris, is in Evin prison in Tehran as she awaits her trial. Adelkhah’s French colleague Roland Marchal was arrested while visiting her, according to Dehghan, who represents both academics. Their case has raised tensions between Iran and France, which has called for them to be released as a “gesture” of goodwill. Iran has repeatedly criticised France for what it calls its “interference” in the case. The Islamic republic does not recognise dual nationality.