Letter of Iranian Professors and political activists to Ban Ki-Moon “Secretary General of the United Nations” on preventing further violence and bloodshed in Iran

Secretary General of the United Nations,

H. E. Ban Ki-moon

We are writing to express our thanks for your recent statements about the current human rights crisis in Iran.  Over the past several days hundreds of demonstrators have been savagely beaten and wantonly shot by police and paramilitary forces.  Many have died and hundreds are imprisoned.  Dissenting voices who have protested the outcome of the recent presidential elections face brutal retribution by the state.  Close to three hundred activists, journalists, previous state officials and opposition leaders have been illegally detained in undisclosed locations. The detainees are deprived of legal representation and, judging by previous experience and based on credible reports, many may be under pressure to confess to acts of treason.  A partial list of prominent detainees include:

Mohammad Ali Abtahi (former Vice President)

Reza Alijani (Journalist)

Ardeshir Amirarjomand (Professor of Law)

Mohsen Aminzadeh (Former Deputy Foreign Minister)

Mohammad Reza Atrianfar (Opposition politician)

Ms. Zhyla Baniyaghoub (Journalist)

Qurban Behzadian-nejad (Professor)

Mohammad Ghouchani: (Journalist)

Saeed Hajjarian: (Former City Councilor and Presidential Advisor.  Critically wounded in a botched assassination by paramilitary forces, Mr. Hajjarian has been semi-paralyzed since 2000 and is in need of urgent medical care.)

Saeed Leilaz (Journalist)

Mohsen Mirdamadi (former Member of Parliament)

Abdollah Momeni (Student activist)

Behzad Nabavi (former Member of Parliament)

Abdollah Ramazanzadeh (former Government Spokesperson)

Hoda Saber (journalist)

Mohsen Safaie-Farahani (former Member of Parliament)

Saeed Shirakvand (former Deputy Minister of Treasury)

Shahaboddin Tabatabaie (Journalist)

Abdolfattah Soltani (Lawyer)

Ali Tajernia (former Member of the Parliament)

Muhammad Tavassoli (former Mayor of Tehran)

Mostafa Tajzadeh (former Deputy Minister of Interior)

Golamreza Zarifian (Professor)

Ahmad Zaydabadi (Journalist)

We respectfully urge you to call on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect the international conventions on human rights to which it is a signatory. The Iranian government must be reminded that false imprisonment and the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators, extra-judicial detentions, and extracting confessions under torture are gross violations of international law, as well as the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.

Complaints regarding massive irregularities in the recent presidential poll in the country must be peacefully settled through appropriate judicial procedures by neutral arbitrators.

We call on you, specifically, to appoint a special envoy to monitor the ongoing developments in Iran and, if possible, to travel to Tehran to convey the grave concerns of the international community to the Iranian authorities.

We are deeply grateful for your statement of June 23, 2009, on the Iranian crisis and look forward to your continued leadership in preventing further violence and bloodshed in Iran.

Ervand Abrahamian, Professor of History, Borough College, New York

Touraj Atabaki, Profesor of Social History, Leiden University

Said Amir Arjomand, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, New York University at Stonybrook

Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Political Science, Boston College

Asef Bayat, Professor of Sociology and Middle East Studies, Leiden University

Abdolali Bazargan, Political activist & former political prisoner

Maziar Behrooz, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University

Mansour Bonakdarian, Assistant Professor of History, University of Toronto, Mississauga

Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Professor, Political Science, Syracuse University

Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies & Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Kaveh Ehsani, Assistant Professor of International Relations, De Paul University

Reza Farahani, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, City College of New York

Farideh Farhi, Faculty of Political Science, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Akbar Ganji, Human Rights Activist, Investigative Journalist, former political prisoner

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Resident Scholar, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Mohsen Kadivar, Visiting Professor of Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Duke University

Hossein Kamaly, Assistant Professor of Perso-Islamic Studies, Columbia University

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Professor of Persian Language, Literature, and Culture, University of Maryland

Mehrangiz Kar, Visiting scholar-Harvard Law School, Lawyer, former political prisoner

Arang Keshavarzian, Associate Professor, Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, New York University

Azadeh Kian, Professor of Sociology and Director of Gender Studies, University of Paris 7-Paris-Diderot

Farhad Khosrokhavar, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, Visiting Professor Harvard University

Ataollah Mohajerani, Former vice-president, and Minister of Islamic Culture (1996-1999)

Arash Naraghi, Assistant professor of Philosophy and Religion, Moravian College

Nasrin Rahimieh, Professor of History, University of California at Irvine

Rouhi Ramazani, Edward R. Stettinius Emeritus Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs University of Virginia.”

Mostafa Rokhsefat, Former Founding Editor of Kayhan Farhangi

Ahmad Sadri, Professor of Sociology & Chair of Islamic World Studies, Lake Forest College

Mahmoud Sadri, Professor of Sociology, Texas Woman?s University

Abdolkarim Soroush, Member of the Iranian Academy of Sciences

Nayereh Tohidi, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, California State University, Northridge

Hossein Ziai, Professor and Chair in Iranian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

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