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Iran's Ebadi Voices Concern Over Detained Intellectual

Shirin Ebadi (file photo) (epa) May 14, 2006 -- An Iranian human rights group headed by Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi today voiced concern over the arrest and jailing of prominent intellectual Ramin Jahanbegloo.

A statement said the group, called the Center for Defenders of Human Rights, is concerned over the arrest and the list of accusations leveled against Jahanbegloo.

Jahanbegloo, a prominent thinker and writer, was arrested earlier this month while trying to leave the country.

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hussein Mohseni-Ejei has said Jahanbegloo is being held on charges of ties with foreigners.


Ramin Jahanbegloo

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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