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Woodrow Wilson Center Responds to Iran's Announcement That it Will Broadcast Apparent Confessions by Haleh Esfandiari

WASHINGTON—The Woodrow Wilson Center announced today that any “confessions” by Haleh Esfandiari which Iranian state-run television says it will air on Wednesday and Thursday have no legitimacy. Esfandiari, director of the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, has been held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison since May 8th on charges of acting against Iran’s national security.

Haleh Esfandiari (file photo)

 Haleh is in her 71st day of solitary confinement in Evin Prison. She has seen no one from outside the prison during this time: not her mother, not her family, not her lawyer, and not the ICRC or any independent international body. Any statements she may make without having had access to her lawyer would be coerced and have no legitimacy or standing,” said Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “This reprehensible pattern of activity by interrogators in Iran has occurred before: jailing innocent people, confining them, and then producing a framed or cobbled statement or confession. This is not a fair judicial process at work.” 


“The reported charges against Haleh are ludicrous,” said Hamilton. “Haleh is a scholar who has tried only to promote dialogue and understanding between the U.S. and the Middle East region, to include Iran. We are extremely concerned about Haleh and her mental and physical well-being. I again ask the Iranian government to end this ordeal and stop making totally false allegations against Haleh. Let Haleh and the other detained Iranian-Americans return safely to their families.”


For up-to-date information regarding the situation of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, please visit the Wilson Center’s media update center at To get involved in the campaign to free Haleh, go to Media with questions may reach Sharon McCarter at (202) 691-4016 or


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.


Press Contact: Sharon McCarter

Phone: (202) 691-4016

... Payvand News - 7/17/07 ... --

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