Getting off my fat ass – Haleh Esfandiari, Hao Wu, Abdelkareem, aid, Darfur …

Haleh Esfandiari is held in the Evin jail in Tehran, which sounds like a particularly shit place to spend your time, on what Amnesty and her employer the Woodrow Wilson Research Centre (Washington D.C.) consider to be spurious charges of conspiracy against the government of Iran. She’s a campaigner for better women’s rights in Iran, and according to the review of her 1997 book Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran’s Islamic Revolution I’ve just read (Moghadam, 1998), “is informed by secular and feminist concerns”. I can’t find many details about what she has written on Athens or even Google Scholar – she’s not a big peer-reviewed publisher, but authors a lot of grey lit such as occasional papers and reports for the Woodrow Wilson Centre. Her page at the WWC where she’s Director of the Middle East Programme, lists a few major publications.

There is a move to boycott Iran over this and their general treatment of dissenting academics. Engage has come out against boycott and in favour of, well, engagement. Good for them. I wonder how confusing all those monomaniacal boycotters in UCU and the AAUP will find this – are they planning a boycott of Iran right now?

But more importantly, this woman is banged up in a torturers’ toyroom. Details of who to write to and what to mention are at the bottom of these pages: 

Political bloggers Abdelkareem and Hao Wu, who are just two of so many that it makes me feel limp with impotence, could do with similar treatment. And by the end of the week Lee Scott will have a letter about delivering on our aid pledges, and about Darfur.

Moghadam, V (1998). Review. Contemporary Sociology;27(4):358-360.


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