Category: Statements by family and friends

Kian Tajbakhsh’s Family Denounce Tehran Show Trials (Source: Payvand Iran News)

By , August 28, 2009 5:43 pm

Payvand Iran News has reprinted the latest statement by Kian’s family and friends, including dramatic photos of Kian at the latest show trial.

[Full Article]

Release Kian Tajbakhsh! (Source: The Iranian)

Kian’s friend Niloofar Mina has published the following article highlighting his plight in

“Pictures and video footage of Tuesday’s show trials in Tehran show Kian Tajbakhsh among a group of defendants associated with Iran’s reformist movement and accused of conspiracy to foment a “velvet revolution” in Iran. The pictures show Kian seated directly behind Said Hajjarian, a reformist ideologue and a principal defendant in Tuesday’s trial. The coupling of Kian, a secular Iranian-American academic, with the leaders of the Islamist reform movement of Iran is alarming. Dressed in blue prison pajamas and brown plastic slippers Kian looks thin and depressed. His vacant gaze and apparent disorientation captured in the video clippings broadcast by Iran’s official news agency makes reading the trial transcripts devastatingly sad.

Kian Tajbakhsh has not been allowed to consult with an attorney of his choice. The collective indictment presented on Tuesday Aug. 25 is devoid of credible evidence against Kian. Instead, “confessions” of the defendants against themselves and their co-defendants are offered. The tortured and terrorized faces of the defendants leave no doubt about the horrific conditions under which the “confessions” have been obtained. So far, the public presentations of the tortured confessions have provoked disgust and anger in Iran. Clearly, the Iranian public does not believe these so called confessions. Even some of Iran’s high-ranking clerics with close ties to the ruling circles have condemned these confessions. So why does the government insists on parading the tortured bodies and souls of the accused? …

Kian’s friends are worried about his physical and emotional health and want to see him released immediately. Kian is a beloved son, father, husband, teacher, colleague and friend. Those who love him are pained to see him used as a pawn in a power struggle with which he has no connection. We want to see Kian free to leave Iran so that he can continue his life and academic career in safety.

[Full article]

American detainee Kian Tajbakhsh’s family and friends deny ludicrous charges lodged in 4th Iranian Revolutionary Court show trial

By , August 25, 2009 2:45 pm

Family and friends of Iranian American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh vehemently deny the ludicrous charges being lodged against him today in the 4th of a series of Revolutionary Court show trials. Kian has spent nearly 50 days in illegal captivity in an undisclosed location and without access to a lawyer. He was forced under duress to make statements in the context of the first Revolutionary Court show trial held earlier this month.

The baffling charges being lodged in court today linking Kian together with high-ranking Iranian reformists purportedly plotting to overthrow the regime with foreign support are entirely baseless. Kian is not a member of the Iranian reformist movement and has had no involvement whatsoever in pre- or post-election unrest. According to Iranian state news and as reported by the Associated Press, after the court prosecutor read out charges against the defendants including espionage, contact with foreign elements and acting against national security, Kian was reported to have emphasized that “since I’ve had no contacts with any headquarters inside and outside the country, I have no evidence to prove foreign interference.”

خانواده و دوستان کیان تاجبخش اتهامات بی اساس چهارمین دادگاه نمایشی را رد میکنند

خانواده و دوستان کیان تاجبخش جامعه شناس ومحقق ایرانی- امریکایی به شدت اتهامات بی اساسی را که چهارمین دادگاه نمایشی به او وارد کرده رد میکنند. کیان 50 روز است که در زندان انفرادی در محلی نا معلوم و بدون دسترسی به وکیل گرفتار است. دستگیر کنندگان کیان در یک ماه اخیر از طریق وارد کردن فشار او را مجبور به ابراز بیاناتی در دادگاه های نمایشی کردند.

اتهامات مبهوت کننده ای که روز سه شنبه سوم شهریور در چهارمین جلسه دادگاه نمایشی قرانت شد کیان را به بالا ترین مقامات رفرمیست و توطعه بر اندازی مربوط میکند. این اتهامات کاملا بی اساس اند. کیان عضو جریانات رفرمیستی ایران نیست و به هیچ وجه دخالتی در جریانات اعتراضی قبل و بعد از انتخابات اخیر ایران نداشته است. اسوشیتد پرس در نقل گرارش خبر گزاری رسمی ایران اعلام کرد که بعد از قراعت کیفر خواست در چهارمین دادگاه نمایشی و محکوم کردن مدافعین به جاسوسی, تماس با شخسیت های خارجی و اقدامات بر علیه امنیت کشور, کیان تاکید کرد ” از آنجایی که من ارتباطی با مراکز سیاسی داخل و خارج از کشور نداشته ام هیچ نشانه ای مبنی بر دخالت خارجی نمی بینم.”

Family and Friends Deny Report by Iranian State News of Kian’s Release from Detention

By , August 19, 2009 12:38 pm

Reporting on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s demand that Iran immediately release Kian and other American citizens from unjust detention, Iran’s state PressTV falsely claimed that Kian has been released on bail. PressTV reported on August 15 that Kian “was released on bail, but was prohibited from leaving the country.”

This report is false. Kian continues to be detained in Iran without access to a lawyer. His family and friends have not been informed about the specific charges lodged against him or how long authorities plan to continue holding him.

Secretary Clinton emphasized on August 15 that Kian “has spent his career working to enhance mutual understanding between Iran and the United States. The government of Iran should immediately release Mr. Tajbakhsh from detention and allow him to depart Iran to continue his academic pursuits.” The US State Department has repeatedly called for Kian’s release, with the latest demand issued in its August 17 press briefing.

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Orwell’s warnings (Source: The Daily Times)

By , August 8, 2009 6:55 pm

Kian’s friend Pamela Kilpadi has published an editorial in the Daily Times of Pakistan:

“[Kian’s] only apparent “crime” has been to dare live his life as an independent American Iranian scholar in Iran… [He] was swept up in a sudden, unimaginable convulsion — Iran’s greatest political and popular upheaval since the 1979 revolution. As award-winning journalist and Iran scholar Robin Wright recently noted: “Although embryonic, today’s public resolve [in Iran] is reminiscent of civil disobedience in colonial India before independence or in the American Deep South in the 1960s.” The regime lashed out viciously…

“If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened — that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death,” Orwell wrote in 1984. “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”

Painfully, the details of where Kian has been taken, by whom, and for how long remains unclear. What is clear is that the struggle for the freedom of Kian and other innocent victims of official repression is also the struggle for our own. Our own freedom of thought, and our own future.

Orwell’s warnings are as relevant today as ever. If we, as individuals and as members of society, fail to stand up for what we believe is right, we consent to wearing an ugly mask. And our face grows to fit it.”

[Full article: Orwell’s warnings]

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Irish Times editorial on Kian Tajbakhsh by his friends Chandana Mathur and Dermot Dix

By , August 5, 2009 4:59 am

Kian’s friends Chandana Mathur and Dermot Dix have published an editorial about Kian in the Irish Times: Paying a high price for returning to live in Iran

Here is an excerpt from the article:

KianAndFamilySmall.jpgIt is true that Kian has many friends and associates around the world, including in Ireland. But they are scholars and educators like ourselves, not military strategists seeking to topple distant governments. Kian is being forced to pay a heavy price for a lifetime of simultaneous translation, for the years spent teaching polarised peoples to understand and respect each other.

We would like to see Iran as Kian has taught us to see her, as a nation that values her intellectuals and protects the rights of her people. We hope that the coming days will prove him right.

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خانواده کیان تاجبخش به شدت اتهامات محاکمه نمایشی را رد میکند
Farsi translation of public statement by Kian’s family and friends vehemently denying charges lodged against him in mass show trial covered by Iranian news

By , August 4, 2009 2:09 pm


Kian Tajbakhshخانواده کیان تاجبخش به شدت اتهامات محاکمه نمایشی را رد میکند

دکنر کیان تاجبخش یکی از متهمان محاکمه نمایشی است که هم اکنون در ایران در جریان است. دکتر تاجبخش در ساعت 9 شب 18 تیر – 9 جولای – در مقابل همسر و دختر خرد سالش دستگیر شد و تا کنون در محل نا معلومی و بدون دسترسی به وکیل مدافع, خانواده و دوستان زندانی است.

دستکیری دکتر تاجبخش اولین بار توسط تلویزیون رسمی و انگلیسی زبان جمهوری اسلامی – پرس تی وی – در روز 22 تیر – 13 جولای – 4 روز بعد از بازداشتش اعلام شد. در این خبر اتهام وی همکاری با حسین رسام رئیس بخش امنیت سیاسی سفارت انگلیس در تهران اعلام شد. حسین رسام اکنون با دادن وثیقه مالی آزاد شده.

خانواده دکتر تاجبخش و دوستان و صدها اضا کننده درخواستنامه آزادی ایشان به شدت اتهاماتی که دولت احمدی نژاد بر وی وارد کرده را رد میکنند. آنها قبلا نیز در بیانیه ای هشدار داده بودند که دستگیری کیان در واقع تمهیدی برای بدست آوردن اقرار نامه دروغین از راه قهر آمیز و برای استفاده در دادگاه های نمایشی است. در آن بیانیه گفته شده بود که ” این گونه سخنان عموما در زیر شکنجه بدست آمده و تنها برای استفاده در محاکمه های نمایشی تلویزیونی است.”

خانواده دکتر تاجبخش از دیدن عکس های او که توسط آژانس رسمی خبری فارس در روز شنبه 10 مرداد چاپ شد بسیار متاثراند چون این عکس ها نمایانگر فشار جسمی و روانی شدیدی است که در این 23 روز بر کیان وارد شده.

دکتر کیان تاجبخش جامعه شناس طراح شهر محقق و نویسنده فارغ التحصیل دانشگاه کلمبیا در شهر نیویورک است. تا قبل از برگشت به ایران دکتر تاجبخش استاد جامعه شناسی در دانشکده تحقیقات اجتماعی در نیویورک New School بود . فعالیتهای تحقیقی وی همواره در پس زمینه بیطرفی سیاسی و در روند ایجاد پلی برای نزدیک کردن فرهنگها است.

برای اطلاعات بیشتر در سایت کیان به ما بپیوندید. آدرس سایت

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American detainee’s family vehemently deny charges lodged by Ahmadinejad regime

By , August 1, 2009 3:17 pm

Kian Tajbakhsh, an American citizen, is being charged in an Iranian show trial as an American agent who helped orchestrate the post-election protests. He was arrested in Tehran at 9pm on July 9 in front of his wife and small daughter and has since been held in an undisclosed location without access to a lawyer, family or friends.
[New York Times]

Tajbakhsh’s arrest was first announced on the Iranian state-sponsored, English-language Press TV on 13 July, alleging that he was “cooperating” with Hossein Rassam, the head of the security and political division of the British Embassy in Tehran, in fomenting the post-election turmoil. Hossein has since been released on bail.

Tajbakhsh’s family, friends and hundreds of campaigners working to secure his release vehemently deny the charges being lodged against him by the Ahmadinejad regime. Family and friends have previously warned in a public statement that they fear he is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial, adding that “such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials”: [Associated Press]. They are distressed by photos of Tajbakhsh published by the Iranian official news agency Fars today, which indicate that he is under intense strain:

Dr. Tajbakhsh is a Columbia University PhD and New School-affiliated social scientist and urban planner whom family and friends say has always sought political neutrality in an effort to bridge cultural divides. The Iranian state television report on Tajbakhsh’s arrest also notes that “Iran blames foreign powers, the US and Britain in particular, for what it calls interference in its internal affairs and post-vote disturbances.

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Article on Kian by his friend Ibrahim Al-Marashi published in The Guardian

Kian’s friend Ibrahim Al-Marashi has published the following piece in the Guardian.

An American in Iran

When I was accused of being a western spy, Kian Tajbakhsh befriended me. Now he’s been jailed in Iran for the same offence

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Family and Friends of Detained American-Iranian Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh Decry Decision by Iranian Authorities to Refuse to Receive Petition Calling for his Release

By , July 28, 2009 7:16 pm

Officials at the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York have refused to receive a petition including some 800 signatures by individuals calling for the unconditional release of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh from detention in Iran. Those signing the petition, organized by the New School for Social Research in New York, “strongly deplore and condemn [the] detention and persecution of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh…call for his immediate and unconditional release, and urge the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties to which Iran has long been a signatory.”

New School Professor Arien Mack confirmed that an attempt was made to deliver two envelopes containing the petition, addressed to Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene’i care of the Ambassador, to the Iranian mission to the UN on Wednesday, July 22, but the envelopes were refused. The New School left a message with the Mission’s legal department inquiring about the refusal, but has yet to receive a response.

Other prominent groups including the 3,300 members of PEN American Center, the International Cooperation Agency of Dutch Municipalities, Columbia University, and the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives in Pakistan have called for Kian’s release. PEN, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression, stated in their appeal that they are “deeply concerned that Kian Tajbakhsh has been swept up in a crackdown on peaceful scholars and journalists following the disputed presidential elections in violation of their right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.”

Iranian agents arrested Kian Tajbakhsh, an American citizen, and took him away from his wife and small daughter at their home in Tehran at 9:00pm on July 9, 2009. We still have no information about where Kian was taken. We are concerned that he is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial to falsely accuse ‘foreign powers’ of interference in Iran’s postelection crisis. Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.

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American’s family fears Iranian show trial
(Source: Associated Press)

By , July 17, 2009 7:13 pm

The Associated Press just posted an article by Desmond Butler based on the statement by family and friends that was issued yesterday, as published here by ABC News, for example:

“WASHINGTON – The family and associates of an Iranian-American scholar under arrest in Iran say they are worried that the Islamic Republic is preparing to bring him before a show trial.

Iranian state-run Press TV has reported that Kian Tajbakhsh was arrested last week for working with a local employee of the British Embassy, Hossein Rassam, who also is being held in Tehran. Iran has accused other countries, especially the United States and Britain, of provoking unrest and protests that followed disputed June 12 presidential elections.

Family and friends of Tajbakhsh deny the charges and in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press by Pamela Kilpadi, a researcher who has been working on a book with Tajbakhsh, expressed fear he may be facing torture in Iranian captivity.

“We are concerned that Kian is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial,” the statement says. “Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.”

The statement was also posted on a Web site the family and associates have organized to draw attention to his captivity.

Iran accuses Rassam of playing a “key role” in guiding British diplomats during the protests, according to the state-run TV. His arrest has sparked a showdown with European Union countries, which are insisting on his release.

The U.S. government has called Tajbakhsh’s arrest unjust and said he should be released.

Tajbakhsh, a social scientist and urban planner, spent four months in prison in 2007, charged along with three other Iranian-Americans with endangering national security.

[Link to article]
[also translated and republished in Persian media]

Family and Friends of Detained Iranian American Scholar Kian Tajbakhsh Strongly Deny Accusations by Iranian Authorities and Denounce Iran’s Use of Forced Statements by Political Prisoners

By , July 16, 2009 5:37 pm

In Iran’s first official acknowledgment of Kian’s arrest on July 9, Iranian Press TV reported on Monday that “Iranian authorities detained Tajbakhsh on grounds of cooperating with Hossein Rassam, the head of the security and political division of the British Embassy in Tehran, who is also in custody over post-election turmoil.”

These false accusations are entirely groundless. Those who know Kian understand that his persecution by Iranian authorities is not only tragic but ironic—as a social scientist and urban planner he has always sought political neutrality in an effort to bridge cultural divides and honor his much-loved homeland. His work is a valued asset that the Government of Iran should seek to protect.

The Iranian state television report on Kian’s arrest also notes that “Iran blames foreign powers, the US and Britain in particular, for what it calls interference in its internal affairs and post-vote disturbances, which have claimed the lives of at least 20 people.”

We are concerned that Kian is being held in an attempt by the Iranian authorities to obtain forced statements from him to use in a televised show trial. It is exceedingly important that we all strongly denounce Iran’s serial practice of extracting forced statements from political prisoners. Such statements are repeatedly extracted under conditions of torture for the sole purpose of staging televised show trials in an attempt to deceive the Iranian public.

Statement from family and friends of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh on his arrest in Iran

By , July 13, 2009 4:41 pm

We are issuing this statement to draw your attention to the arrest in Iran of respected American Iranian scholar Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh.

At 9:00pm Tehran time on July 9, 2009, Iranian agents arrested Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh at his home in Tehran. Two people who identified themselves as Iranian security officials arrived at his residence in Tehran late Thursday. The officials questioned him and his wife and searched the residence for three hours, before taking him away along with two computers and other items.

We have no information about where Kian was taken.

An American citizen, Dr. Tajbakhsh is a leading scholar with an international reputation. As a social scientist and urban planner he has always sought political neutrality in an effort to bridge cultural divides and honor his much-loved homeland. He taught at the New School in New York City for seven years and remains a senior research fellow there. He has published two widely praised books, The Promise of the City: Space, Identity and Politics in Contemporary Social Thought (University of California Press, 2001) and Social Capital: Trust, Democracy and Development (published in Persian, 2005). He has published over 20 articles in leading scholarly journals and delivered lectures at major international conferences on urban planning, public health, and municipal government. Dr. Tajbakhsh has had a long affiliation with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the leading academic organization for social scientists in the United States. He has served as a Steering Committee Member for the SSRC’s Middle East and North Africa Program and contributed in significant ways to the SSRC’s academic projects. Throughout the course of his career, Dr. Tajbakhsh has earned a reputation as a distinguished and respected scholar throughout the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, and the United States.

In addition to his academic career, Dr. Tajbakhsh has worked as a consultant for several organizations including Iran’s Municipalities Organization, the Social Security Organization, and international organizations such as the World Bank, the Open Society Institute and the Dutch Association of Municipalities. He spent four months in Evin prison in 2007 after being falsely accused along with three other Iranian-Americans of endangering national security. Following his release he ended his association with the Open Society Institute. Recently he has been researching and writing several books and spending time with his family and first child, born in 2007.

It is difficult to imagine why a brilliant scholar and friend like Kian would be targeted by the Iranian regime. We strongly appeal for your help in revoking the decision to detain him and ensuring his safe return to his family.

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