Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Iran Releases Dr. Haleh Esfandiari from Evin Prison

Press Contact: Vicki Bear Dodson
Phone: (202) 691-4268

Release No. 75-07
August 21, 2007

Iran Releases Dr. Haleh Esfandiari from Evin Prison

WASHINGTON—An Iranian official this morning announced that Dr. Haleh Esfandiari has been released on bail from Evin prison. Esfandiari, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, was incarcerated in Tehran on May 8, 2007, on allegations of endangering Iranian national security.

“We rejoice at the news of Haleh’s release,” said Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Wilson Center. “This has been a long and trying ordeal for her and for her family. Her physical and mental well-being is now the urgent priority. We want to see her well, we want her to be permitted to return to the United States, and we want to see her reunited with her family.”

“Haleh has lost close to seven months of her life. She was subjected to untold hours of interrogation and an isolation that we cannot imagine. She was denied time with her husband, her daughter, her son-in-law, her two granddaughters, and literally hundreds of other family members, friends, and colleagues who care deeply about her.”

“We thank all who offered their prayers and their efforts on behalf of Haleh’s release. An extraordinary amount of people from around the world rallied to Haleh’s side. We have had many interlocutors—official and non-official—on Haleh’s behalf. We have had many staff members at the Wilson Center who worked tirelessly in the hope that this day would come. This outpouring only reinforces Haleh’s life’s work on behalf of dialogue, understanding, and bringing people together.”

“We look forward to the day when Haleh is fully recovered from this ordeal, and she can return to her colleagues and her important work. We continue to hope and pray for the safe and quick return of Kian Tajbakhsh, Parnaz Azima, and Ali Shakeri, who have also been unjustly detained in Iran.”

Media with questions may reach Vicki Bear Dodson at (202) 691-4268 or vicki.dodson@wilsoncenter.org.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

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