Friday, May 19, 2006

Sign a PETITION to free Ramin Jahanbegloo

As the item from Eurozine indicates, the French journal Esprit "has launched a petition for the release of Ramin Jahanbegloo" and "Eurozine's Italian partner Reset has also issued an appeal for Jahanbegloo's release." Each of these petitions has been signed by a number of people from both sides of the Atlantic, including various luminaries.
My impression is that the procedure for adding one's signature to the Reset petition is more convenient and straightforward, and I urge everyone to consider signing it. To do this, send an e-mail message to

=> There are also appeals for letter-writing campaigns on Jahanbegloo's behalf here and here and here.
(And for further information on Ramin Jahanbegloo, his arrest, and international reaction to it, see here and here.)

--Jeff Weintraub
May 12, 2006

Eurozine News Item
Free Ramin Jahanbegloo

has launched a petition for the release of Ramin Jahanbegloo. The leading Iranian academic, philosopher, and contributor to international journals will be familiar to many of Eurozine's editors and readers. A list of publications can be found on his website.

Ramin Jahanbegloo was arrested at the Tehran airport on or around Friday 28 April 2006 as he was leaving for an international conference on Iran in Brussels. After several days silence, the Iranian authorities announced Jahanbegloo's incarceration in the notorious Evin prison on 3 May 2006. Since then, posts on a weblog for Dr Jahanbegloo's release set up by the Toronto Initiative for Iranian Studies quote official statements that he is undergoing "interrogation" and is suspected of crimes related to "security and spying".

A man of dialogue and non-violence, Ramin Jahanbegloo is the author of a work on Mahatma Gandhi as well as several conversations with European intellectuals such as Isaiah Berlin and George Steiner. The numerous initiatives he has undertaken, for example in bringing leading western intellectuals to Tehran, have been a precious source of mutual understanding between civilizations at a time when such understanding is of the utmost importance.

"Jahanbegloo's imprisonment could be the beginning of a new wave of repression against the lively Iranian intellectual scene," writes Jörg Lau in die Zeit on 11 May. "Ramin Jahanbegloo stands for an intellectual responsibility that does not stop at cultural, religious, or political boundaries. It is time to show him that he is not alone."

All his friends and colleagues are deeply worried about Jahanbegloo's welfare and demand his immediate release.
Eurozine adds its name to Esprit's list of signatories, which includes George Steiner, Richard Rorty, Toni Negri, Edgar Morin, Timothy Garton Ash, Bernard Cassen, Claude Lefort, Alain Ehrenberg, and many more. We urge our partners and readers to use whatever channels you can to spread awareness of Dr Jahanbegloo's situation as well as to make use of the opportunities to register your support provided by the weblog.

Update: Eurozine's Italian partner Reset has also issued an appeal for Jahanbegloo's release. He delivered a paper entitled Against the clash of intolerances in Cairo last March as part of the Reset Dialogues on Civilization.