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]