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Prominent Iranian Rights Lawyer Sentenced --> Abdolfattah Soltani (file photo) (AFP) July 18, 2006 -- A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer today said that he has been sentenced to a five-year prison term on charges of disclosing confidential information and opposing the government.

Abdolfattah Soltani, a colleague of Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, was arrested last year while defending two people accused of espionage.

He says he has been cleared of espionage charges, but is being jailed for sharing confidential information with "outsiders" and involvement in "propaganda against the system."

He denies the charges.


Ramin Jahanbegloo

Ramin Jahanbegloo speaking in Tehran in 2004 (AFP)

THE FOURTH WAVE: In late April, it was announced that the Iranian authorities had arrested noted intellectual RAMIN JAHANBEGLOO. Jahanbegloo is a professor of philosophy in Iran and Canada and is the author of more then 20 books, including "Moje Chaharom" ("The Fourth Wave"). In November 2004, Radio Farda correspondent Fatemeh Aman interviewed Jahanbegloo about the current generation of Iranian intellectuals and its distinctive features.

Radio Farda: It seems that in your book you see a unique status and mission for the fourth generation in the process of progress and democratization in Iran. Why is that and what are the most important characteristics of this generation of intellectuals?

Ramin Jahanbegloo: The fourth generation is distinct from former ones for several reasons. First this is a democratically minded generation that cares about democratic values. This generation has a political approach toward these values and, importantly, it is heavily colored by the active presence of women. The other distinct feature of this generation is its belief in modernity. This modernity is not an imitation one, but rather is based on discourse. If in the past many thought they can become modern by imitating the Western way of life, today's intellectuals know that the real route to modernity is by understanding the modern world in the West and channeling this thought process into social, cultural, and political institutions....(more)


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