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Treat Abbas Khosravi Farsani humanely and justly

Petition published by Alan Hájek on Jan 15, 2013
353 Signatures 
Target: Ayatollah Ali Khamene’ei
Region: Iran

Petition Background (Preamble):

We write on behalf of Abbas Khosravi Farsani, a graduate of Imam Sadegh University, who was until recently working on a Ph.D. in Western Philosophy at Isfahan University.

Last June, however, Mr. Farsani was arrested and expelled from the University and forbidden to teach at any Iranian university for writing the blog and book by the name of “Najvahaye Najibane” (“Noble Whispers”) allegedly insulting the Supreme Leader and high officials of the Iranian regime. He has a summons to appear before the Revolution Court of Iran on January 26.

Petition:

An Open Letter from Academics of the World to Ayatollah Ali Khamene’ei

16 January 2013

Dear Ayatollah Ali Khamene’ei:

We write on behalf of Abbas Khosravi Farsani, a graduate of Imam Sadegh University, who was until recently working on a Ph.D. in Western Philosophy at Isfahan University. Last June, however, Mr. Farsani was arrested and expelled from the University and forbidden to teach at any Iranian university for writing the blog and book by the name of “Najvahaye Najibane” (“Noble Whispers”) allegedly insulting the Supreme Leader and high officials of the Iranian regime. He has a summons to appear before the Revolution Court of Iran on January 26.

We write with four concerns particular to Mr. Farsani’s situation.

First, the expulsion of Mr. Farsani from Isfahan University, especially as he neared completion by defending his Ph.D. thesis, is unfair and excessively punitive. We write to you with the conviction that a student who has devoted so much time and effort in the pursuit of knowledge via a formal degree, should be allowed to complete that pursuit, by finishing his graduate work at the University.

Second, we protest the decision to forbid Mr. Farsani from seeking a teaching position at a university, while at the same time imposing a heavy bail. This is especially troubling as we understand that Mr. Farsani has lost his educational scholarship and faces extreme financial worries. Thus, to forbid Mr. Farsani from teaching exacerbates those worries and, even more seriously, is in effect a punishment imposed prior to judicial sentencing. We write with the hope that bringing these facts to your attention will result in a lifting of the ban which precluded Mr. Farsani from seeking employment in the area of his training.

Third, we are deeply concerned by reports that Mr. Farsani was subjected to psychological torture while in the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence for 20 days. If accurate, those reports call into question the justness of the court’s findings as “evidence” obtained under tortuous duress is universally recognized as unreliable and its use in adjudication unfair.

Fourth, we believe that Mr. Farsani, quite apart from the issue of possible psychological torture, was deprived of fair legal process. It is our understanding that Mr. Farsani was neither allowed to dispute the findings of the court as he was granted no defense representation, nor allowed to present a positive defense case on his own behalf. The right of an accused to mount a defense with which to dispute charges and accusations is fundamental to the rule of law, and a basic constituent of a just state. To learn that Mr. Farsani was denied this basic protection again throws into serious question the justness of the court’s procedure and findings.

Our appeal is grounded on the hope that the rights of all Iranians will receive the respect and protection characteristic of a just state. We are convinced that the Iranian people, with their venerable history and civilization, are entitled to the highest freedoms and the great good of an unfettered education.

Signatories:

The Treat Abbas Khosravi Farsani humanely and justly petition to Ayatollah Ali Khamene’ei was written by Alan Hájek and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here.

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