Iran: Academic arrested; fears of ill-treatment

Rapid Action Network

15 May 2006

English PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee is extremely concerned for the safety of academic and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo, who has been held incommunicado in Evin prison since 27 April 2006, where he is said to be at risk of ill-treatment. There are unconfirmed reports that he is being held in the hospital wing. English PEN seeks immediate assurances of his health and safety, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.

Academic and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo was arrested at Tehran airport on 27 April 2006 as he was about to leave for an international conference on Iran, and his house was then reportedly searched. His detention was not officially confirmed until 3 May, although the reason for his detention remains unclear and no charges have been made known. There are unconfirmed reports that he is accused of espionage and of having links to monarchist and other opposition groups. He has reportedly criticised the Iranian government in a series of interviews for Canadian, Spanish and French newspapers in recent weeks. The Canadian government is believed to be making representations on his behalf.

Amnesty international gives the following background:

‘Ramin Jahanbegloo, who is said to be in his forties, is the Head of the Department of Contemporary Studies at the privately-run Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran. The author of over 20 books in Persian, English and French on philosophy and current affairs in Iran, he is also a frequent contributor to international newspapers and journals in which he comments on Iranian affairs. His personal website, the front page of which has been removed, apparently since he was arrested, can be viewed at .

…Fundamental flaws in the administration of justice in Iran facilitate the targeting and harassment of intellectuals, journalists and other human rights defenders. The Penal Code contains a number of vaguely-worded provisions relating to association and “national security” which prohibit a range of activities, including many connected with journalism or public discourse which are permitted under international human rights law. Detainees are often held for weeks or months without access to their families, and are frequently denied access to a lawyer of their choice until the period of interrogation, which has no limits, is completed.’


Please send appeals:

  • expressing concern for the safety of Ramin Jahanbegloo, who is detained incommunicado in Evin prison;
  • seeking immediate assurances that he is not being tortured or ill-treated;
  • seeking full details of the reasons for his arrest, including any charges that may have been brought against him;
  • calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.


Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: ,

Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency


His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency,

Palestine Avenue,

Azerbaijan Intersection,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: Via Foreign Ministry: 00 98 21 6 674 790

(mark: “Please forward to H.E. President Ahmadinejad”)


Where no fax numbers are available appeals may be sent c/o the Iranian embassy:

His Excellency Hamid Reza Nafez Arefi

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran

16 Prince’s Gate

London SW7 1PT

Fax: 020 7589 4440

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