09 May 2006

Political theorist Ramin Jahanbegloo detained in Tehran

I yesterday I received an e-mail from my friend and colleague Melissa Williams who teaches political theory and is Director of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. Melissa is publicizing the plight of her former colleague Ramin Jahanbegloo who has been detained without charge by Iranian authorities in Tehran. You can find a reprinted November 2004 interview with him at the web page of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty where he extols the emergence of a new generation of Iranian intellectuals committed to democracy, modernity and gender equality.

This is an extremely delicate case insofar as Jahanbegloo is being detained at Evin prison where prisoners have died - presumably as the result of torture. As Melissa makes clear, while queries about Jahanbegloo's condition and letters of support for him are appropriate, these should be respectful and not engage in condemnation of the Iranian regime. Such condemnation may well put Jahanbegloo and other prisoners at greater risk. For guidelines and background on the case follow this link to Amnesty International.

UPDATE (5/17/06): Here are stories from Eurozine and Open Democracy that provide background and updates on Jahanbegloo's detention.

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