Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New York Vigil for Detained Iranian American Scholars

In May the government of Iran arrested four Iranian–Americans: prominent U.S. scholars Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh, journalist Parnaz Azima and activist Ali Shakeri. Esfandiari, Tajbakhsh and Shakeri remain in detention without being able to see family, lawyers, or the ICRC. All four face serious charges stemming from their efforts to promote an Iranian–American dialogue and scholarly work and could be sentenced to long prison terms.

Amnesty International, the American-Islamic Congress, Human Rights Watch, Vital Voices Global Partnership, the Near Eastern Studies Department of Princeton University, and several other organizations will hold a vigil in New York on Wednesday, June 27. The purpose of the vigil is two-fold: to urge that all charges against Haleh Esfandiari and the other 3 Iranian-Americans be dropped, and that the Iranian government immediately release Dr. Esfandiari and the other three Iranian-American detainees. It will take place across from the United Nations headquarters in New York City at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, from 12 – 1 p.m.

For more information contact Sharon McCarter 202-691-4016 or Amnesty International USA 202-675-8755.

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