An op ed by the editors of The Washington Post about the American hikers detained in Iran mentions Kian’s case as well:
“IRAN’S EXTREMIST rulers don’t scruple at persecuting innocent people — particularly foreigners — to advance narrow political aims. Since staging what amounted to a coup during June’s presidential election, the regime has arrested and prosecuted a number of Western citizens on bogus charges to reinforce its propaganda, which claims that post-election protests were organized by Western intelligence agencies. One, Iranian American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh, was unjustly sentenced to 15 years in prison in October and now faces new charges.
But foreigners are persecuted not only to prove conspiracy theories; they can also be crudely exploited as bargaining chips. That seems to explain the case of three young Americans who apparently wandered across the Iraqi-Iranian border in July while hiking. They were apprehended, tossed into Tehran’s notorious Evin prison and recently were charged with espionage. According to Politico.com, Iranian authorities have responded to requests for their release on humanitarian grounds by linking them to Iranians in U.S. custody — some of whom have been charged with arms trafficking…
Shane Michael Bauer, 27, Joshua Felix Fattal, 27, and Sarah Emily Shourd, 31, may also be fodder for Iran’s crude version of tit for tat. In 2007, U.S. forces arrested five Iranians in the city of Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, describing them as members of the al-Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps; they were not released until last July. Iraqi officials say that their inquiries to Iran about the American travelers, who were traveling in Kurdistan, have been answered with comparisons to the “Irbil five.”
What’s clear is that the three Americans are innocent of espionage, arms smuggling or of any other offense other than not being aware that they had crossed the border while hiking near a popular waterfall in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mr. Bauer is a freelance journalist; Ms. Shourd a teacher and writer; Mr. Fattal an environmentalist and inveterate traveler. They have now been held for more than 4 1/2 months, without access to a lawyer and with only limited contact with their families. On Monday Iran’s foreign minister said they would be “tried by Iran’s judiciary.”
For the Obama administration, the hikers’ treatment is but one more indication that the regime of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has no interest in the constructive “engagement” that Mr. Obama has offered. Such despicable persecution of innocent people only adds to the reasons the administration should focus its energies on isolating and imposing sanctions on the regime’s leaders, while doing what it can to support the opposition Green movement.”
Over 150 Columbia University students and professors have publicized a letter lobbying for the release of Kian, a current Columbia faculty member:
“…Tajbakhsh, who was supposed to teach at Columbia’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, was arrested this summer in Iran during the aftermath of the elections. He has also faced numerous charges of spying and being a threat to the national government.
“We hope to raise awareness about Kian’s case, and show our support for him as a member of our academic community and as a renowned scholar who has been falsely accused and unjustly imprisoned,” said a graduate student involved in the campaign who was granted anonymity for security reasons. “The charges are nonsense. Kian is a dedicated scholar, and someone who cares deeply about Iran. He has worked throughout his career to foster understanding between Iran and the rest of the world. I was looking forward to seeing him continue that work at Columbia this year, and it is terribly sad and frightening to know that he is in prison right now, instead of in a classroom here.”
“We, the undersigned faculty of Columbia University, call for the immediate and unconditional release of our colleague Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh,” the letter begins. It emphasizes his academic achievements and status as “an internationally recognized scholar who has taught at both American and Iranian universities.”
“Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to fostering better understanding between the United States and Iran,” it states…
[Gary] Sick, a senior research scholar at the Middle East Institute of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, called the charges against Tajbakhsh “absurd … the best evidence of the underlying paranoia in the Iranian revolution government. They are persuaded that America is part of the revolution and trying to overthrow their government. They are looking for anybody that has associated with foreign government. … Some go to jail, others go to death,” he said.
“I have never been a CIA agent,” Sick added, stating that the accusation was invented by “an Iranian journalist or publisher.” He called it “disappointing” that there was “no effort to verify that it is true,” considering that “this is supposed to be a court case.”
“They can give you 15 years of jail for a rumor,” Sick said…”
[Link to article]
Family and friends of Iranian American detainee Kian Tajbakhsh are shocked and outraged by the news that he has been unjustly sentenced in an extra-judicial proceeding to more than 12 years in prison and are demanding his immediate release.
Kian has endured solitary confinement in an undisclosed location for nearly four months broken only by long hours of interrogations without access to his own lawyer and with only occasional brief, supervised contact with family members, who remain extremely concerned about his mental and physical well-being.
The baffling charges being lodged by the Revolutionary Court linking Kian together with high-ranking Iranian reformists purportedly plotting to overthrow the regime with American support are entirely baseless.
As an independent scholar Kian is neither a member of the Iranian reformist movement nor in contact with any foreign headquarters inside or outside Iran, and has had no involvement in pre- or post-election unrest.
Kian has been denied access to his own legal representation and the Swiss consulate, but was nevertheless convicted within the context of an extra-judicial show trial.
Therefore, attempts by Iran’s judiciary to block his release despite the efforts of senior Iranian officials to free him clearly violate not only Iran’s international legal obligations but also the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
دادگاه انقلاب کیان را به “بیش از 12 سال” زندان محکوم کرد
. خانواده و دوستان کیان این حکم غیر قانونی را رد
میکنند و خواستار آزادی هر چه سریع تر او هستند
خانواده و دوستان کیان تاجبخش از خبر محکومیت او نگرانند
و خواستار آزادی فوری او هستند. کیان مدت چهار ماه است
که در زندان انفرادی و در محل نا معلومی به سر میبرد. در
این مدت انزوای او تنها با بازجوئی های طولانی بدون
دسترسی به وکیل منتخب خودش و ملاقات های کوتاه مدت با
خانواده اش زیر نظر ماموران زندان پاره میشود. خانواده کیان
بسیار نگران وضعیت جسمی و روانی او هستند. اتهامات عجیب و
بی پایه ای که دادگاه انقلابی به کیان نسبت داده او را
با مقامات بالای موج رفرمیست ایران مربوط کرده و او را
مسول شرکت در توطعه ای با همکاری امریکا برای بر اندازی
رژیم ایران میداند. کیان یک دانشگاهی و محقق مستقل است.
او هیچ رابطه ای با جریانات رفرمیستی در ایران و یا
مراکز خارجی در داخل یا خارج ایران ندارد و هیچ گونه شرکتی
در جریانات اعتراضی بعد از انتخابات در ایران نداشته است
کیان اجازه دسترسی به وکیل منتخب خود و یا رابطه با
کنسولگری سوئیس در ایران را ندارد. با این حال در دادگاهی
نمایشی و غیر قانونی محکوم شده است. دخالت سیستم قضائی
برای جلوگیری از آزادی او علارقم کوشش های مقامات
بالارتبه ایران نه تنها در تضاد با مسولیت های بین المللی ایران
است بلکه قانون اساسی جمهوری اسلامی را نیز زیر پا
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 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.”
“The false imprisonment of Iranian/American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh and 100 other activists involved in the ongoing democracy movement in Iran deserves our immediate attention.
Continue reading 'Sting Makes Appeal for Kian Tajbakhsh and Iranian Detainees'»
پنجشنبه 6 آگست 2009
بازداشت نادرستِ محقق ایرانی- امریکایی کیان تاجبخش و 100 نفر از فعالان سیاسیِ حرکت دمکراتیکِ کنونی در ایران سزاوار توجه بی درنگ همه ماست.
من از تمام کسانی که در جوامع دمکراتیک زندگی میکنند درخواست میکنم که برعلیه سیستم کنونیِ رژیم ایران که با سرکوب سیاسی و نقض حقوق بشر فعالین را تهدید به سکوت میکند ندای اعتزاض بلند کنند.
بدون آزادی بیان و حق اعتراض دمکراسی واقعی امکان پذیر نیست.
WASHINGTON (AP) Sting is calling for the release of political prisoners in Iran and lashing out against the country’s human rights violations. In a statement, the British rock star specifically called on Iran to release prominent Iranian-American academic Kian Tajbakhsh.
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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