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AFP
March 22, 2020

Iran frees French researcher in apparent prisoner swap

World

AFP
March 22, 2020

PARIS, Iran: French researcher Roland Marchal returned to Paris on Saturday after being imprisoned in Iran for over nine months, after France released an Iranian threatened with extradition to the US. "Roland hs returned," his support group announced in a short message.

A supporter told AFP that the freed researcher had been taken to a military hospital to assess his condition.

Earlier President Emmanuel Macron announced that Iran freed Marchal after France had allowed the Iranian to leave.

Macron "is happy to announce the release of Roland Marchal, imprisoned in Iran since June 2019" but he "urges the Iranian authorities to immediately free" fellow researcher Fariba Adelkhah, his office said. France has for months demanded that Iran release Adelkhah and her partner Marchal, who were detained last year accused of plotting against national security. Their trial began in early March.

Adelkhah is a citizen of both Iran and France, but Tehran does not recognise dual nationality.

Iran has in recent months carried out prisoner exchanges with the US, Australia and Germany.

The Iranian judiciary’s news agency Mizan Online reported Iranian Jallal Rohollahnejad had been freed by France on Friday. Iranian state television showed images of him hugging members of his family during an emotional reunion in Tehran. Rohollahnejad, "an Iranian engineer incarcerated for more than a year in French prisons and accused of circumventing American sanctions against Iran, has been freed today," Mizan said.