NIAC Calls for the Release of Kian Tajbakhsh, an End to Political Detentions and Abuse
Iranian American Council (NIAC)
Washington DC - The National Iranian American
Council (NIAC) condemns the arrest and imprisonment of Kian Tajbakhsh, an
Iranian-American intellectual who was taken from his home in Iran and jailed
late last Thursday. NIAC calls for his release and the immediate release of all
those who have been arrested and detained for demonstrating in the weeks
following Iran's disputed presidential election.
"Tajbakhsh's recent arrest is part of an ongoing effort by the government of
Iran to silence dissent," said NIAC President Trita Parsi, "and it shows the
Iranian government's continued disregard for the basic rights of its people in
the wake of last month's election." NIAC has condemned the use of violence and
political detentions against demonstrators in Iran, and called for a new
election as the only plausible way to end the turmoil.
Tajbakhsh was not involved in the current demonstrations, but had been arrested
in 2007 along with four other dual citizens on charges of trying to foment a
'velvet revolution' against the Islamic Republic. He spent four months in
Tehran's Evin Prison before his was released. Following his release in 2007, he
remained in Iran and deliberately avoided politics, his friends and family
members say. Tajbakhsh, a Columbia University graduate, taught urban policy at
the New School for Social Research in New York City from 1994 until 2001.
According to the
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, over 240 other prominent
Iranian lawyers, activists, journalists, professors, human rights defenders and
students have been arrested without charge, and have been taken to undisclosed
locations since the demonstrations began. NIAC has also received many reports of
detainees in Iran's prisons being mistreated, including prisoners being tortured
NIAC calls on the Iranian government to restore basic human and legal rights to
its prisoners, including a halt to torture and guaranteed access to legal
representation in accordance with the Iranian constitution.
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