19 May 2006
CJFE calls for immediate and unconditional release of scholar detained after questioning president's denial of Holocaust
(CJFE/IFEX) - The following is an 18 May 2006 CFJE letter to the Iranian ambassador in Canada:
His Excellency, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Ali Mousavi, Ambassador
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
245 Metcalfe St.
K2P 2K2, Canada
Via Fax: 1 613 233-5712
I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.
We are very concerned at the continued detention of prominent scholar and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo. Professor Jahanbegloo is a well-known and well-respected Canadian-Iranian professor of philosophy.
Mr. Jahanbegloo was reportedly detained at the Tehran Airport on April 27; Iranian officials did not acknowledge his arrest until May 3, a day when CJFE joined with others around the world to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. It is thought that his detention is in connection with an article he wrote in which he challenged President Ahmadinejad's contention that the Holocaust had not taken place.
Mr. Jahanbegloo has received doctorates from the Sorbonne and Harvard University, and is the author of more than 20 books. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto from1999-2001. He has also written extensively for newspapers and magazines in Iran and abroad.
CJFE is greatly concerned by the detention of Ramin Jahanbegloo at Evin prison - a prison which has extremely painful associations for all Canadians who remember photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was killed there in 2003. CJFE calls upon the Government of Iran to release Mr. Jahanbegloo immediately and unconditionally.
We look forward to your early reply.