Reuters: Prominent Iranian philosopher and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo has been arrested on unspecified charges, judiciary officials said on Wednesday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Prominent Iranian philosopher and writer Ramin Jahanbegloo has been arrested on unspecified charges, judiciary officials said on Wednesday.
Deputy Tehran Prosecutor Mahmoud Salarkia told the ISNA students news agency Jahanbegloo was being held in the capital’s notorious Evin prison, where most of Iran’s jailed political dissidents are held.
Charges against Jahanbegloo, who also holds Canadian citizenship, “will be announced after the interrogations,” an unnamed judiciary official told the Etemad-e Melli newspaper.
Rights groups frequently lambaste Iran for detaining pro-reform writers, journalists and intellectuals without due legal process.
Jahanbegloo, educated at the Sorbonne in Paris and Harvard University, has written more than 20 books in English, French and Persian on subjects such as Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi and liberal political philosopher Isaiah Berlin.
Head of the Department for Contemporary Studies at the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, he has also lectured on the prospects for democracy in Iran and on whether the Islamic state can engage with the West.
His arrest was lamented at a gathering at the Association of Iranian Journalists on Wednesday.
“It has not been announced why (Jahanbegloo was arrested) but we hope the day will come when no-one is held … before being tried by an open court,” said liberal cleric Mohsen Kadivar, who himself was jailed in the past for outspoken criticism of Iran’s political leaders.
Iran’s most high-profile dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, freed in March after serving a six-year jail term for writing articles linking senior officials to the murder of several dissidents in 1998, criticized the lack of press freedom in the Islamic state.
“What is happening to the newspapers in our country is by no means acceptable,” said Ganji, who was given an award by the association. “Today, our newspapers are facing their worst-ever situation,” he said.
Iran’s judiciary has arrested dozens of journalists and closed more than hundred publications since 2000.