Open Letter to President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
CC: Chief Justice, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Mr President Ahmadinejad:
We the undersigned appeal for the immediate, unconditional release of prominent scholar and public intellectual, Dr Ramin Jahanbegloo who was arrested at Tehran's international airport in late April 2006. On 6 May, minister of intelligence, Hojatoleslam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, confirmed Dr Jahanbegloo's arrest, implying that he is being held in custody for "having contacts with foreigners."
For almost four weeks, however, Dr Jahanbegloo has been detained without a court order, official charges, legal representation and the privilege of family visitation – all basic requirements for the due process of law. Dr Jahanbegloo's arrest and continued detention clearly violate the Islamic Republic's domestic laws and Iran's international legal obligations, particularly as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
News of Dr Jahanbegloo's arrest has reverberated among academicians and other intellectuals worldwide. A philosopher committed to the principle of non-violence, Dr Jahanbegloo has worked tirelessly to foster cultural understanding and dialogue between Iranians and other societies.
Significantly, as director of the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, he has conveyed to myriad readers, students and scholars the complexity of Iranian civilisation and its rich contributions to humanity. Dr Jahanbegloo's effort to illuminate and share Iran's culture and history with others has earned him deep respect and admiration among both intellectuals and laypeople from diverse corners of the globe. Not surprisingly, those who follow his work, both in Iran and abroad, are shocked and disappointed by this unlawful treatment of Dr Jahanbegloo. Scholars travelling to and from Iran are especially concerned about this matter and contend Dr Jahanbegloo's arrest will deter such exchanges and scientific research.
In short, we believe Dr Jahanbegloo's detainment demands your intervention as soon as possible to resolve this matter properly, ensuring his prompt release.