"I am deeply concerned about the inexplicable detention of renowned scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari by the Iranian government. Dr. Esfandiari currently serves as director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, and has made significant contributions to the body of research on international women's issues, contemporary Iranian politics, and democratic developments in the Middle East. She returned to Iran to visit her 93-year-old mother, and after being subjected to weeks of interrogations over her work with the Wilson Center, was jailed by officials earlier this week. This imprisonment contradicts the very essence of her work, which focuses on ensuring the promise of democracy and freedom to those who live under tyranny.
In addition, respected journalist Parnaz Azima has had her passport seized by the Iranian government, and is unable to leave the country. Ms. Azima, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, returned to Iran to visit her ailing mother, and has reportedly been told that she will not be able to leave the country for two to three years, separating her from her son and grandchildren.
I urge the government of Iran to release Dr. Esfandiari and end any travel restrictions faced by both Dr. Esfandiari and Ms. Azima and call upon the Administration to raise the plight of Dr. Esfandiari and Ms. Azima with the international community."
... Payvand News - 5/15/07 ...
... Payvand News - 5/15/07 ... --