Thursday, May 18, 2006

Iran - Further support for Ramin Jahanbegloo

Via Norman Geras (Normblog), here are letters protesting the imprisonment of the Iranian scholar and public intellectual Ramin Jahanbegloo from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and from York University in Canada. The AAUP letter is below.
[Update: The American Sociological Association (ASA) has also sent a strong letter to the Iranian government urging the release of Ramin Jahanbegloo. --JW]

--Jeff Weintraub
Norman Geras (Normblog)
May 15, 2006

Ramin Jahanbegloo 6

Further to my earlier posts about the imprisonment of Ramin Jahanbegloo, here is the text of a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from Roger Bowen for the American Association of University Professors:
Your Excellency:

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has learned of the arrest and detention of Professor Ramin Jahanbegloo, chair of the Department of Contemporary Studies at Tehran's Cultural Research Bureau. I write on behalf of my colleagues across the United States to protest this wrong and to urge the Government of Iran to release him immediately.

The AAUP is the oldest professional organization of university and college faculty in the United States. For nearly 100 years we have advocated for academic freedom as fundamental to the securing of the common good which itself depends on the free search for truth and its free exposition. It is our view that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects the academic freedom of scholars everywhere to write, teach, and comment without fear of government censorship or punishment.

The AAUP further recognizes that academic freedom is a right of scholars everywhere. For this reason the AAUP has, among other actions, contested the US Government's denial of a visa to Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan, the Chinese government's arbitrary arrest of prominent scholars, and the suppression of academic exchange between American and Cuban universities by the US Government.

The arrest of Professor Jahanbegloo offends international standards of academic freedom; and suggests that the Government of Iran is intolerant of competing ideas and insensitive to democratic standards. We call upon you to release him from detention without delay.
Has anything been sent from the AUT? If not, it would be good if they could follow the AAUP's lead. See also this statement from Amnesty International Canada; this letter-writing appeal from the University of Toronto; and this one from English Pen. (Hat tip: in turn, AL, TC, JQ, and DavidT.)