NewsSpecial WireRights groups call on Iran to release scholars

Rights groups call on Iran to release scholars

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Iran Focus: London, Jun. 01 – The Iranian government should immediately release two Iranian-Americans from detention and clarify the case of a third who may have “disappeared”, several human rights organisations said on Thursday. Iran Focus

London, Jun. 01 – The Iranian government should immediately release two Iranian-Americans from detention and clarify the case of a third who may have “disappeared”, several human rights organisations said on Thursday.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders and the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi also urged Iran to lift travel bans on two journalists with dual nationality whom Iran has barred from travelling back to their home countries.

The detentions and travel bans are part of a broad crackdown being mounted against Iranian human rights activists, students, and labour organisers by Iranian intelligence officials based in the country’s Information Ministry, the rights groups said. Intelligence officials in the Information Ministry are currently holding two Iranian-American scholars, Kian Tajbakhsh and Haleh Esfandiari, inside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Another Iranian-American, Ali Shakeri, a peace activist from Irvine, California, is also believed to be in detention, and may be the victim of an enforced disappearance. In addition, the government has confiscated the passports of two journalists, Parnaz Azima, an Iranian-American, and Mehrnoush Solouki, a French-Iranian, preventing them from leaving Iran.

“These measures appear to be an attempt by Iran’s security authorities to sow fear into the wider community of journalists, writers, scholars and activists”, the groups said in a joint statement.

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