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5/13/07

Letter by The International Society For Iranian Studies on detention of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari by Iran

 

The International Society For Iranian Studies: Committee for Academic & Intellectual Freedom (ISIS-CAIF)

May 11, 2007

 

To:

Ayatollah Sayyid ‘Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Head of the Iranian Judiciary

Mr. Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far, Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission

 

 

Haleh Esfandiari

 

 

We are deeply troubled by the news of the arrest and detention of the internationally distinguished and respected Iranian-born academic Dr. Haleh Esfandiari in Tehran on May 8.  Dr. Esfandiari is currently the director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.., a  publicly- and privately-funded nonpartisan research institution devoted to the promotion of national and international dialogue. Dr. Esfandiari’s numerous publications have ranged in topic from women’s rights in Iran to the conditions of Palestinian refugees and she has been a staunch advocate of pursuing peaceful dialogue between Tehran and Washington in resolving their diplomatic standoff. Following a family visit to Iran last autumn, Dr. Esfandiari has been prevented from leaving the country since December 2006 and was finally detained on May 8 on unspecified grounds.

 

As the leading international, non-partisan, academic organization devoted to Iran and Iran-related studies, we strongly deplore the arrest of such a highly-respected academic and call on Iranian authorities for the immediate release of Dr. Esfandiari and for granting her permission to leave the country whenever she chooses. In the meantime, we ask the Iranian authorities to guarantee her well-treatment and health and to provide her visitation rights and regular phone calls to her relatives and friends while she remains in confinement.

 

The International Society for Iranian Studies-Committee for Academic & Intellectual Freedom

http://www.humanities.uci.edu/iranian-studies/caif/

 

THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR IRANIAN STUDIES

 

Established 1967  

Committee for Academic & Intellectual Freedom

(ISIS-CAIF))


The International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS), formerly the Society for Iranian Studies, was founded in 1967 as an academic society to support and promote the field of Iranian Studies at the international level. The ISIS, an affiliated member of the international Middle East Studies Association (MESA), is a private, not-for-profit, non-political organization of persons interested in Iranian Studies in the broadest sense. The Society is run by an elected council and executive council. The objectives of the Society are to promote high standards of scholarship in the field, to encourage the teaching of Iranian Studies at the graduate and under-graduate levels, to encourage and facilitate scholarly exchange amongst its international membership.

The International Society for Iranian Studies publishes the journal Iranian Studies that continues to serve as the principal journal in the field, as well as a newsletter for the membership: ISISNews.


As an independent, non-partisan, non-political, multi-disciplinary international community of over 500 scholars, students, academic and non-academic researchers, and aficionados of Iranian studies, the ISIS is committed to promoting free exchange of ideas, freedom of expression in all forms and all media, and unrestricted pursuit of (academic and non-academic) research, instruction, publication, and presentation (in Iran and internationally) without fear of intimidation and persecution. The ISIS considers any restriction on peaceful acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in any form as violation of basic rights of individuals and detrimental to promoting greater understanding and awareness of Iranian society, cultures, and history. The organization maintains that comprehensive academic and wide-ranging intellectual freedom (including artistic and journalistic freedom) cannot exist without broader respect for freedom of expression as well as basic guarantees and provisions of the right to assembly, travel, individual safety and security, and human rights--irrespective of gender and sexual orientation, class, national/ethnic/racial identity, political ideology, and/or religious/non-religious views of individuals.

In its non-partisan advocacy of academic and intellectual freedom and promotion of Iranian Studies, the ISIS urges international, national, and local governmental and non-governmental authorities to fully respect and protect the basic rights of individuals engaged in Iran-related research and intellectual production in its broadest definition, in keeping with the organization’s promotion of knowledge and exchange of ideas; providing full legal guarantees and assiduously safeguarding freedom of expression as well as pursuit of academic and non-academic research, instruction, publication, and presentation. In pursuance of these objectives, the ISIS Committee for Academic & Intellectual Freedom (ISIS-CAIF) shall monitor, document, internationally publicize, and bring to the attention of concerned authorities any infringement or neglect of Iranian- and Iran-related academic and intellectual freedom (in the broadest sense), and demand immediate end to such violations.

ISIS-CAIF

ISIS_CAIF@yahoo.com

http://www.humanities.uci.edu/iranian-studies/caif/

 

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