Posts tagged: Pamela Kilpadi

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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Article on the show trial of some 100 political prisoners including Kian Tajbakhsh (Source: Associated Press)

By , August 2, 2009 7:03 am

The Associated Press has published a story about the show trial in Iran featuring some 100 political prisoners including Kian. The article notes the following about Kian specifically (as reprinted here in the New York Times):

“… Among the others on trial Saturday were two foreign citizens — Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh and Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari, who holds Iranian and Canadian citizenship

Pamela Kilpadi, a researcher who is working on a book with Tajbakhsh, said: ”I know for a fact that Kian played absolutely no role in post-election incidents in Iran. He even said he would not vote in the elections. As an independent academic Kian has always sought political neutrality.”

”These current statements have been forced under duress from someone being held in an undisclosed location without access to a lawyer, family or friends, in violation of the human rights treaties to which Iran is supposedly a signatory,” Kilpadi told the AP by e-mail. ”This is a disgrace to humanity.”

There was no information on when the trial would end or when a verdict could be expected…

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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]

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