June 08, 2011

Offer University of support for Baghi

Translation Article University Paper Radboud University Nijmegen

‘Offer University of support for Baghi’
Date: March 28, 2011
The arrival of the Iranian jurist Emadeddin Baghi seems further away than ever. The man that has been invited by the Radboud University as part of a program for prosecuted scientists is currently fulfilling his seven year prison sentence under a severe regime. Exerting pressure on the Iranian authorities stays effective.
Baghi is part of a worldwide program, in which prosecuted scientists receive an invitation from western universities to proceed with their work. He was supposed to come to the Faculty of Law from Nijmwegen in 2010, but was being hindered by the regime in Iran. Baghi was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in December last year, among other reasons because of his ‘propaganda against the state’.
In the Christmas issue last year Vox was still able to conduct an interview with Baghi, due to his house arrest, but as of now all contact with the outside world is practically forfeited. From New York Clare Robinson, employee of the bureau ‘Scholars at Risk’ that coordinates the transfer of prosecuted scientists, reports that even Baghi’s wife is hardly given opportunities to visit her husband and that Baghi was not permitted to celebrate the Persian New Year (March 21) at home.
Now that Baghi’s arrival has been delayed, deliberation is going on whether another scholar should be brought to Nijmegen. Robinson sees it as a possibility, but not at the expenditure of the offer extended to Baghi. ‘The offer of your university is of big support for Baghi and his family.’ However, her bureau can mediate in temporarily bringing another prosecuted scholar to Nijmegen. Extra support to get Baghi out of jail is always welcome, says Robinson. ‘Keep paying attention to his case in the media’, she advocates, ‘to remind the Iranian authorities that we’re on top of it. What also helps to keep the pressure high are letters from students and affiliates of the university to the Iranian government. Click here for a model letter.
Too expensive
Marijke Delemarre, who mediates on behalf of the Radboud University for the placement of prosecuted scholars, strongly supports the plea of Robinson to temporarily offer shelter to another scientist in Nijmegen. But her efforts at different faculties to seek placement have so far been fruitless. ‘Now that Baghi will not be able to come in the near future, I hope that another faculty can offer a prosecuted scholar a place, but mediation is hard. The researcher must match with the research and for some faculties the finances are objectionable, despite partial funding of the board of directors.’
Paul van den Broek

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