The plight of Haleh Esfandiari: no safety even in the ivory towers

I romanticize about think tank work, but there’s nothing romantic about what’s happened to 67 year old Iranian-American Haleh Esfandiari. Please, listen to either the CBC report from last night or this Morning Edition report, from today.

A good summary from CBC Radio’s As It Happens:


Two weeks ago, Iran imprisoned Haleh Esfandiari. The 67-year-old Iranian-American academic is the director of the Middle East program at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Centre. She had gone to Tehran in December, to visit her sick mother.

But when she lost her passport in a mugging, government authorities refused to let her leave the country. After weeks of interrogation by Intelligence Ministry officials, she was eventually jailed in the notorious Evin prison.

Nearly two weeks ago, we spoke to her husband, who told us that he was hoping the situation would soon change. Well, now it has changed — for the worse. Yesterday, the Intelligence Ministry charged Ms. Esfandiari with trying to overthrow Iran’s government.

Ms. Esfandiari’s husband, Shaul Bakhash, is at their home in Potomac, Maryland.

2 thoughts on “The plight of Haleh Esfandiari: no safety even in the ivory towers

  1. Is that terrifying, or what? And you know, I can just imagine it happening. And who is to say it couldn’t happen here, seriously? Maybe not to you or me, but that doesn’t make me think that our government doesn’t do the same on some level.Thanks, Barbara.

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