Thursday, May 11, 2006


IRAN: Academic Ramin Jahanbegloo arrested; fears of ill-treatment

International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee is extremely concerned for
the safety of academic and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo, who has been held
incommuncado in Evin prison since 27 April 2006, where he is said to be at
risk of ill-treatment. There are unconfirmed reports that he is being held
in the hospital wing. International PEN seeks immediate assurances of his
health and safety, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release if
held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

Academic and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo was arrested at Tehran airport on 27
April 2006 as he was about to leave for an international conference on Iran,
and his house was then reportedly searched. His detention was not officially
confirmed until 3 May, although the reason for his detention remains unclear
and no charges have been made known. There are unconfirmed reports that he
is accused of espionage and of having links to monarchist and other
opposition groups. He has reportedly criticised the Iranian government in a
series of interviews for Canadian, Spanish and French newspapers in recent
weeks. The Canadian government is believed to be making representations on
his behalf.

Amnesty international gives the following background:

'Ramin Jahanbegloo, who is said to be in his forties, is the Head of the
Department of Contemporary Studies at the privately-run Cultural Research
Bureau in Tehran. The author of over 20 books in Persian, English and French
on philosophy and current affairs in Iran, he is also a frequent contributor
to international newspapers and journals in which he comments on Iranian
affairs. His personal website, the front page of which has been removed,
apparently since he was arrested, can be viewed at .

.Fundamental flaws in the administration of justice in Iran facilitate the
targeting and harassment of intellectuals, journalists and other human
rights defenders. The Penal Code contains a number of vaguely-worded
provisions relating to association and "national security" which
prohibit a
range of activities, including many connected with journalism or public
discourse which are permitted under international human rights law.
Detainees are often held for weeks or months without access to their
families, and are frequently denied access to a lawyer of their choice until
the period of interrogation, which has no limits, is completed.'


Please send appeals:

. expressing concern for the safety of Ramin Jahanbegloo, who is
detained incommunicado in Evin prison;
. seeking immediate assurances that he is not being tortured or
. seeking full details of the reasons for his arrest, including any
charges that may have been brought against him;
. calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in
violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.


Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme
Leader Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: ,

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via Judiciary website:
Salutation: Your Excellency

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: +98 21 6 674 790
(mark: "Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad")
via website:

If possible please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic
representative for Iran in your country.

For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN
Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V
6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email:

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