House Resolution Calls for Immediate Release of Dr. Haleh Esfandiari
Washington, D.C. - Representatives
Chris Van Hollen (D-8th/MD), Tom Lantos (D-12/CA), Elijah E. Cummings,
(D-7th/MD), Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-1st/MD), and Gary Ackerman (D-5th/NY)
introduced resolution, H.RES. 430 on May 22nd. The resolution calls for the
release of Iranian American scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari.
resolution introduced last
week by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY), H.RES.430 calls
on the government of Iran to immediately release Esfandiari and all other
individuals being detained for participating in the free exchange of scholarship
and ideas. The resolution also calls on the U.S. government to work with its
allies throughout the Middle East, as well as with other governments and
international organizations, to secure Dr. Esfandiari's release.
Esfandiari, who is a resident of the state of Maryland and the Director
of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars, was arrested in Tehran on May 8th after being barred from leaving
Iran. Esfandiari traveled to Iran in December to visit her ailing 93 year old
“Dr. Esfandiari’s imprisonment shows a gross disregard for the
rule of law and belies statements by Iranian government officials that Iran
would like to improve relations with the United States,” said Representative Van
Hollen. "We want to send a strong message to the Iran government that her
release is a priority."
Meanwhile, Iranian authorities have reportedly
detained two other
individuals, bringing the total number of Iranian Americans who are believed to
be incarcerated, detained, or put under house arrest in Iran to five.
May 11th, agents of the Ministry of Information arrested Iranian American
Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh. Tajbakhsh is a social scientist and urban planner who
has worked as a consultant in the areas of local government reform, urban
planning and social policy, and has taught at universities in the U.S. and Iran.
Friends and family members of Ali Shakeri, who recently traveled to Iran
to visit his ailing mother, have told Human Rights Watch that he has also been
detained by Iranian authorities. Shakeri is on the Advisory Board of the Center
for Citizen Peacebuilding (CCPB) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
CCPB activities aim to prevent violent conflict and, if violence occurs, to
promote reconciliation and sustainable peace.
Two other Iranian American
women, including Parnaz Azima, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,
have been prevented from leaving Iran since January. Azima has posted a $440,000
bond and is being held under house arrest pending filing of charges. The
identity of the other woman has not been revealed by the State Department at the
request of her family.
Click here to read the text of House
Click here to read the text of
the Senate Resolution 199.
... Payvand News - 5/26/07 ...
... Payvand News - 5/26/07 ... --