Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo

Re: Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo

To: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

From: Gail Davidson, Executive Director of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

Date: 2006-05-10

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada is writing to call for access to and the release of Iranian-Canadian scholar Ramin Jahanbegloo.

According to reports, Dr. Jahanbegloo was detained at Tehran Airport on or around April 27. On May 3, Tehran’s deputy prosecutor general, Mahmoud Salarkia, confirmed the detention in an interview Iranian Students News Agency. Also on May 3, the Fars News Agency quoted the chief of prisons in Tehran Province, Sohrab Soleimani, as saying that Dr. Jahanbegloo was being held in Evin prison. An unnamed judiciary official told the Etemad-e Melli that charges against Dr. Jahanbegloo “will be announced after the interrogations.”

As director of Contemporary Studies at the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, Dr. Jahanbegloo has written on topics including non-violence, dialogue and pluralism. He worked at the University of Toronto from 1997 to 2002 and is highly regarded among many Canadian students, friends and scholars.

LRWC is concerned for Dr. Jahanbegloo’s safety. In view of the painful death of Canadian citizen Ms. Zahra Kazemi while in Evin prison as a result of taking photographs that someone thought might demonstrate wrong doing by Iranian officials, and the subsequent arrest of Mr. Abdolfatteh Soltani, we must hear from you as soon as possible via mail, email or fax regarding your actions on the following;

I. The provision of immediate access to a lawyer and family members for Dr. Jahanbegloo;
II. The provision of immediate access to Canadian officials for Dr. Jahanbegloo;
III. The immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Jahanbegloo unless he is immediately charged with an internationally recognizable offence, given adequate opportunities for a defence under the law, and brought to a fair trial in keeping with international standards;
IV. A guarantee for the future physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Jahanbegloo.