Habermas Forum logo Habermas Forum logo
Forum on Jürgen Habermas

Jürgen Habermas


:: Index

:: Sponsors

:: Habermas signs petition for Jahanbegloo (21-05-2006 14:22)
Habermas signs petition for the release of Ramin Jahanbegloo

Open Letter to President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

Mr. President Ahmadinejad:

We the undersigned appeal for the immediate, unconditional release of prominent scholar and public intellectual, Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo who was arrested at Tehran’s international airport in late April 2006. On 6 May, Minister of Intelligence, Hojatoleslam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, confirmed Dr. Jahanbegloo’s arrest, implying that he is being held in custody for "having contacts with foreigners." For nearly three weeks, however, Dr. Jahanbegloo has been detained without a court order, official charges, legal representation and the privilege of family visitation--all basic requirements for the due process of law. Dr. Jahanbegloo’s arrest and continued detention clearly violate the Islamic Republic’s domestic laws and Iran's international legal obligations, particularly as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

News of Dr. Jahanbegloo’s arrest has reverberated among academicians and other intellectuals worldwide. A philosopher committed to the principle of non-violence, Dr. Jahanbegloo has worked tirelessly to foster cultural understanding and dialogue between Iranians and other societies.Significantly, as director of the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, he has conveyed to myriad readers, students and scholars the complexity of Iranian civilization and its rich contributions to humanity. Dr. Jahanbegloo’s effort to illuminate and share Iran’s culture and history with others has earned him deep respect and admiration among both intellectuals and laypeople from diverse corners of the globe. Not surprisingly, those who follow his work, both in Iran and abroad, are shocked and disappointed by this unlawful treatment of Dr. Jahanbegloo. Scholars traveling to and from Iran are especially concerned about this matter and contend Dr. Jahanbegloo’s arrest will deter such exchanges and scientific research.

In short, we believe Dr. Jahanbegloo’s detainment demands your intervention as soon as possible to resolve this matter properly, ensuring his prompt release.


Signed by 420 intellectuals, including:

Timothy Garten Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford;
Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds;
J.M. Coetzee, Writer, Nobel Laureate in Literature, 2003;
Arthur Danto, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University;
Ronald Dworkin, Professor of Law and Philosophy, New York University
Umberto Eco, Writer;
Luc Ferry, Philosopher and former Minister of Education, France;
Jürgen Habermas, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Frankfurt
Agnes Heller, Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, New York;
Leszek Kolakowski, Philosopher;
Ernesto Laclau, Professor of Political Theory, University of Essex;
George Lakoff, Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley;
Alsdair MacIntyre, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame;
Orhan Pamuk, Novelist, Turkey;
Richard Rorty, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University;
Charles Taylor, Professor of Philosophy, McGill University;
Michael Walzer, Professor, Princeton University;
Slavoj Žižek, Professor, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

- - - - -

Information on Ramin Jahanbegloo

Ramin Jahanbegloo was born in Tehran, Iran. He received his M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University, Paris.

In 1993 he taught at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard. He was an adjunct professor in political philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is a Canadian citizen.

Jahanbegloo is the author of 20 books in English, French and Persian. His books include
- Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (1991),
- Gandhi: aux sources de la nonviolence (1998),
- Penser la nonviolence (UNESCO 1999),
- Iran and Modernity (2000),
- Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (ed.) (Lexington Press, 2004).

There is a website devoted to his case:
Thomas Gregersen