Wednesday, July 18, 2007

NWI Issues Statement on Haleh

Yesterday, the Nobel Women's Initiative (NWI) issued this statement regarding Haleh Esfandiari's case. Shirin Ebadi, is one of the co-founders of NWI and also Haleh's lawyer.

A portion of the statement reads:

"Dr. Esfandiari’s harassment began even earlier than her arrest on May 8. Dr. Esfandiari went to Tehran in December 2006 to visit her 93 year old mother. On December 30, on her way to the airport to fly back to her home in the United States, she was stopped by three masked, knife-wielding men who took away all her belongings, including her American and Iranian passports.

Prevented from leaving the country, she was subjected to over 50 hours of interrogation by officials of the Ministry of Intelligence, subjected to intimidation and threatened with graver consequences if she did not “cooperate” with the authorities. Such interrogation methods continued after her unjustified incarceration in Evin Prison.

Iranian authorities apparently wish to charge her with actions against national security. Such charges are entirely without foundation.

In her work at the Wilson Center, Dr. Esfandiari has strived to provide a forum for exchanges among scholars, researchers and journalists representing a wide range of views on Middle Eastern issues. She has been a tireless promoter of and believer in dialogue between Iran and the international community. She has devoted a lifetime to the advancement of women’s rights in the Middle East."

Click here and here for more info on how US policy is affecting the arrest of Iranian Americans.

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