Subject: Fwd: Support An SPME Petition-

    October 27, 2008     To: The Governments of Afghanistan and Iran and the
United Nations Commission on Human Rights 
    We, the undersigned academics from all disciplines from around the world do
hereby call upon and demand that the governments of Afghanistan release student
Sayed Perwiz Kambasksh  <> and for Iran to
release student, Esha Momeni, and Prof. Mehdi Zakeriam

    Furthermore,we call upon the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to
look into these and other apparent human rights abuses and harassments
perpetuated against students and faculty in these countries.

    According to reports <>
, (1) (2) <
Mr. Kambakhsh, a journalism student, was sentenced originally to death for
downloading an article off the internet on women’s rights in Islam and
discussing it in class. The sentence has been commuted to 20 years for

     <> Ms. Momeni, a masters student at the
California State University at North Ridge, has been detained in Tehran’s
notorious Evin Prison according to Amnesty international, while living with her
family in Iran, researching the Women’s Movement and conducting video interviews
as part of a One Million Signatures Campaign to end discriminatory laws against
women in Iran. It is reported that she is being detained without charges and
that police have take her footage and computer after she was pulled aside for
“suspicion of having committed a traffic offense.”
    According to reports <
(3) Mehdi Zakeriam, a professor of human rights in Iran, was arrested
(4) on August while awaiting visa clearance to serve as a visiting scholar at
the University of Pennsylvania’s law school. It has been reported that he has
been charged by Iran with “espionage.”
    These arrests, and others that have proceeded them, violate basic universal
academic tenants of freedom of thought, freedom of inquiry, freedom of research,
access to knowledge and freedom of academic exchange and may well constitute
violations of international human rights laws.

    We oppose any persecution of inquiry through idea, speech or thought
control, as well as controlling the exchange of ideas or scholarly information
by any secular or religious authorities controlled by religious or ideological


    (3) <


    . Visit Scholars For Peace in the Middle East website <
    . To Sign this petition go to
    . To see current signatures go to


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