This is a letter from academics, intellectuals, writers, and activists from the Arab world in the fields of human rights, education, culture, and environment:
Kian Tajbakhsh’s detention is a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security and safety of a researcher and an academic who has consistently worked to help the Iranian government develop its services in urban planning and local government. His detention also presents an image of Iran to the region and the rest of the world as a regime that persecutes innocent people, using them as pawns in its international political struggle, and fabricating charges against them to soil their reputation and restrict their liberty. The arrests of Kian and the other Iranian academics, especially those who hold dual American and Iranian citizenship, is nothing but an attempt to exert pressure on the administration of George Bush. His administration, which has occupied Iraq and Afghanistan and has provided unprecedented aid to Israel, is unlikely to be concerned about the arrest of a small group of intellectuals who generally come from a liberal background and are opposed to the war against terror, even though they are American nationals.
We ask the Iranian authorities, who have once held up the slogans of freedom and justice, and who may yet recall the repression and despotism practiced by the Shah’s regime against the Iranian people, to release Kian Tajbakhsh and drop all the false charges made against him.
This letter is also addressed to all those concerned with academic and scientific freedom in the Arab world, and we invite them to act in solidarity with Kian Tajbakhsh by signing this letter demanding his release, and circulating it as widely as possible.For more information on Kian, his arrest and detention, and the ongoing campaigns in his support, we ask you to visit the website
Basma el-Husseiny, Egypt
Hossam Bahgat, Egyptian Initiative for Personal rights, Egypt
Christine Tohme, Lebanon
Ola Khaldi, Jordan
Moataz el-Fegeiry, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt
Gamal Eid, Arab Human Rights Information Network, Egypt
Azza Soliman, Center for Women’s Legal Assistance, Egypt
Wessam Ahmed, Al-Haq, Palestine
Bahey Edin Hassan, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt
Mustafa Kamel Al-Sayyid, Professor of Political Science, Cairo University, Egypt
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