The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives in Pakistan (CPDI-Pakistan) has demanded the immediate release of Dr. Tajbakhsh.
The CPDI- Pakistan Press Release is as follows:
Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) expresses its serious concern on the arrest of a leading scholar and social scientist, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, who was arrested by the Iranian authorities on July 9, 2009. It demands the Iranian authorities to immediately release Dr. Tajbakhsh, who has closely worked with many experts and organizations, like CPDI, on issues related to social development and governance in Pakistan. He has clearly been arrested arbitrarily and without any moral or legal justification.
The violation of basic human rights anywhere must be resisted and challenged by human rights activists everywhere; and it is in this spirit that the civil society organizations in Pakistan must speak out openly and loudly against the arbitrary detention of Dr. Tajnakhsh.
Reportedly, the Iranian security officials arrested Dr. Tajbakhsh from his residence in Tehran on July 9, 2009. 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. Since then, the family has no information about where he has been taken to.
Dr. Tajbakhsh is a leading scholar with an international reputation. 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. 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. 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 Dr. Tajbakhsh would be targeted by the Iranian regime.
Rule of Law Program
Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), Islamabad