New York, NY, August 30, 2006—PEN American Center welcomed today’s release of Ramin Jahanbegloo, an Iranian writer and intellectual who was arrested at Tehran airport on April 27, 2006, as he was about to leave for an international conference in Brussels. Jahanbegloo was released this morning from Evin Prison in Iran after four months of confinement, said Kouhyar Goodarzi, a member of the Student Committee of Human Rights Reporters of Iran. Colleagues from PEN Canada confirmed the news in a conversation with officials at the Iran desk at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Ramin Jahanbegloo is the Head of the Department of Contemporary Studies at the privately run Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran. The author of over 20 books in Persian, English, and French on philosophy and current affairs in Iran, he is also a contributor to international newspapers and journals in which he comments on human rights and democratic freedoms. His personal web site, the front page of which was removed when he was arrested, can be viewed at Jahanbegloo holds Iranian and Canadian citizenship. In 1999, he received a postdoctoral degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.

The reason for Jahnabegloo’s detention remains unclear and it appears that no charges were filed against him. In May, the state-controlled IRAN Persian daily newspaper said that Jahanbegloo had been arrested for espionage and violating security measures. During his time in jail, PEN joined with many local and international scholars in urging the government to release him.