Friday, June 22, 2007

Amnesty International vigil at UN to support human rights in Iran and the release of imprisoned Iranian-Americans

People in or near New York City may be especially interested in news of this action, which will happen on Wednesday, June 27 from noon - 1 p.m. at the United Nations. (And even if you're not in the NYC area yourself, you might want to pass this along to other people who are.) It is organized by Amnesty International and co-sponsored by the American Islamic Congress, Human Rights Watch, and The Near Eastern Studies Department of Princeton University. The announcement from Amnesty International, with further information, is HERE.

I heard about this from Stephen Retherford, who blogs as Sisyphus. (see below). His post also refers to a more detailed announcement by Juan Cole, which begins:
Amnesty International is hosting a vigil in New York next week for three detained intellectuals, including my friend Haleh Esfandiari. I urge everyone who can attend, to do so, and make a special plea to fellow bloggers to publicize this event. (The bigger it is, the more successful it will be; a small showing is dangerous). Details below. [Etc.]
For some further background, see here & here & here.

--Jeff Weintraub
Stephen Retherford (Sisyphus)
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Virgil in New York next Wednesday to support human rights in Iran and call for release of detained Iranian-Americans

Four Iranian-Americans have found themselves caught in middle of worsening relations between Iran and the United States. All four are being detained by the conservative Iranian government as it extends a crack-down on its own citizens and has made many Iranian-Americans fearful of traveling back to Iran. According to an Amnesty International press release:
In May 2007 the government of Iran arrested four Iranian-Americans: prominent U.S. scholars Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh, journalist Parnaz Azima and activist Ali Shakeri. Esfandiari, Tajbakhsh and Shakeri remain in detention without being able to see family, lawyers, or the International Committee of the Red Cross. All four face serious charges stemming from their efforts to promote an Iranian-American dialogue and scholarly work and could be sentenced to long prison terms.
A vigil will take place next Wednesday, June 27th between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (1st Avenue and 47th Street across from the United Nations Plaza) in New York City. If you are in New York on the 27th go to the vigil. The point Juan Cole makes that a large turnout is important is well taken.