Civil Liberties

The Latter-Day Iranian Hostage Crisis


This continuing story really hasn't gotten enough play:

An Iranian-American scholar recently released from a notorious prison in Iran still faces charges she endangered the country's national security and has no passport with which to travel abroad, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Although Haleh Esfandiari has the legal right to leave the country, no new passport has been issued since authorities seized hers, attorney and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told The Associated Press.

"The next stage is that a date will be set for the trial. I … will defend her in court," said Ebadi. "I'm certain that my client is innocent and she must be acquitted of the charges."…

Iran has charged three other Iranian-Americans with security-related offenses: Parnaz Azima, a journalist for U.S.-funded Radio Farda; Kian Tajbakhsh, an urban planning consultant with the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute; and Ali Shakeri, a founding board member of the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding at the University of California, Irvine.

More here.

In 2002, Charles Paul Freund reported on the outrageous case of intellectual Hashem Aghajari as an example of liberal martyrdom in Iran (the charges against Aghajari were eventually cleared in 2005).