Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo, prominent Iranian-Canadian scholar, has been detained in solitary confinement in Iran’s Evin Prison since his arrest on 27 April 2006. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations believe he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. No formal charges have been brought against the political philosopher and he has been denied access to a lawyer during his interrogations.
An influential member of the Iranian intellectual movement, Dr. Jahanbegloo has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies, a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard and an adjunct professor in political philosophy at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on issues of modernity, non-violence, and cultural dialogue. He returned to Iran in 2002 where he heads the Department of Contemporary Thought at the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran.
Returning from a trip to India, Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested by the Iranian government at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport. The arrest and his detention in Evin Prison were confirmed by the Iran judiciary branch on 3 May. On 7 May Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie stated that Ramin Jahanbegloo was in the custody of his Ministry for “having contacts with foreigners”, which is not a crime under Iranian law. Allegations of espionage have also surfaced, which are especially troubling, as they mirror the accusations made against Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. Kazemi died while in the custody of Evin Prison, with reports surfacing later of torture and brutality.
Letter by Gail Davidson sent on May 10