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Iranian Legal Scholar Scheduled to be a Visiting Professor at Penn Law School Detained by Iranian Regime:

Iranian legal scholar Medhi Zakerian, who was scheduled to be a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School this fall, has been arrested by the Iranian authorities and detained without charges for the last three weeks. Since I am serving as a visiting professor at Penn myself this semester, I thought I would make note of this egregious behavior by the Iranian regime. Apparently, Zakerian has been targeted because of his criticism of the regime's human rights abuses, and perhaps because the government feared that his visit at Penn would make it possible for him to reach a broader audience for his views. This website provides a bit more information about Zakerian and states that he is being held by the Ministry of Intelligence.

I don't know much more than this about Zakerian or his work. So I can only say I hope that he will be released soon, and urge my fellow legal scholars, among others, to pressure the Iranian government towards that end.

neurodoc:
A regrettable reminder that we should be grateful we don't live in an Islamic republic.
9.11.2008 2:50am
bradley:
I'm surprised he was able to get a U.S. visa. Due to the embargo, Iranians residing in Iran are not eligible for employment based visas.
9.11.2008 11:06am
Happyshooter:
How, exactly, are law profs going to pressure Iran?

Send a nasty note? Have a cocktail party/joint huffing session and send mean thought waves at their leader?

Or, take 'A Stand' and publish a statement?
9.11.2008 11:20am
trouc (mail):
Ugly behavior from Iran, not sure we've got a ton of credibility on the issue of improperly detaining people though. Hopefully he'll get released, make it here and we'll see the sort of cultural exchange that'll be good for both our countries.
9.11.2008 11:38am
Guest McGuesterston (mail):
I think the only reasonable thing to do is to detain Ilya. We're losing the detention gap. Fight fire with fire.
9.11.2008 12:13pm
WhatAcct:
Does anybody know if the professor is Armenian?
9.11.2008 12:21pm
PLR:
Detaining someone without charges? Miss Manners would be appalled.
9.11.2008 12:30pm
Yeah. Whatever (mail):
Egregious? I live in a country - Canada - in which over 50% of incarcerated individuals haven't even been convicted of a crime. The rate is much lower in Iran, not to mention roughly 190 other countries.

Remind me which country is free again? Sorry, you're going to have to express a bit of concern for egregious violations of liberty among your fellow G-8 countries before credibly leveraging this sort of thing to your advantage. In Canada, it is fairly routine for there to be a two to four year delay between getting charged and convicted; again, that is the highest rate in the entire world. Cry me a river about Zakerian; without an inch of exaggeration I as a Canadian citizen envy both the freedom and order he enjoys in Iran.
9.11.2008 12:52pm
PC:
I'm shocked that a country would detain a person without charges. This is unprecedented and would certainly never happen in a place like the US.
9.11.2008 1:12pm
neurodoc:
Yeah. Whatever...without an inch of exaggeration I as a Canadian citizen envy both the freedom and order he enjoys in Iran.
Geez, I didn't know things were that bad in Canada. I guess here in the United States we just don't get reports of what is going on just across our northern border, like hanging juveniles, stoning people to death, floggings, etc.

I'm sure there are a great many very worthy Iranians who would be delighted to live in Canada, notwithstanding its faults. Perhaps a 1:1 swap can be arranged, you over to Iran, them over to Canada.
9.11.2008 1:14pm
neurodoc:
PC, do you, like Yeah. Whatever, "envy both the freedom and order he (Zakerian) enjoys in Iran"? The both of you ought to see the Satrapi movie Persepolis and discuss it between you.
9.11.2008 1:21pm
Brian K (mail):
neurodoc,

so being against detentions without charges regardless of who is doing the detaining means he must envy the freedom of iran? HAHA...i don't think you could make yourself look dumber if you tried.
9.11.2008 1:32pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Where do the Canadians lock up the Bahais and Jews?
9.11.2008 1:36pm
Jiminy:
Remember, if the Other guy is doing it worse than you, you can keep doing bad things.
9.11.2008 2:18pm
PC:
PC, do you, like Yeah. Whatever, "envy both the freedom and order he (Zakerian) enjoys in Iran"? The both of you ought to see the Satrapi movie Persepolis and discuss it between you.


Why would you conflate a different poster's argument with mine...oh, wait. I see what you did there.
9.11.2008 2:58pm
NowMDJD (mail):
As long as the Iranians don't set up traffic roadblocks and make people late for work. That's the worst possible violation of human rights. The Israelis are known for that.

Sarcasm aside, there IS a question of proportionality. Do those who wrote these post REALLY believe that restriction of liberty here is of the same order of magnitude as in Iran? (I won't talk about Canada; the good professor is not being prevented from traveling there)
9.11.2008 4:23pm
PC:
Sarcasm aside, there IS a question of proportionality. Do those who wrote these post REALLY believe that restriction of liberty here is of the same order of magnitude as in Iran?


I don't think anyone is comparing proportionality. The US government used to be able to argue from a position of moral authority, but sadly it can no longer do so.
9.11.2008 4:46pm
NowMDJD (mail):

The US government used to be able to argue from a position of moral authority, but sadly it can no longer do so.

When was that?

When we were the last advanced country with slavery?

When we were massacring the Indians of the Great Plains after the Civil War?

When we were waterboarding Filipino rebels?

When we were interning Japanese?

When we were dropping bombs on Serbian civilian facilities?

No nation speaks from a position of total moral purity. It is always relative. And you never need to come from a perfect country to critique any society. And in choosing sides, the question is not who is perfect, but who is better than the other guy.
9.11.2008 4:56pm
PLR:
And in choosing sides, the question is not who is perfect, but who is better than the other guy.

And on this date, September 11, over 3000 people died as a result of the U.S. choosing sides in a battle that had nothing to do with us, solely on the belief that the other side was worse.

Hell of an ethic.
9.11.2008 5:17pm
PLR:

And on this date, September 11, over 3000 people died as a result of the U.S. choosing sides in a battle that had nothing to do with us, solely on the belief that the other side was worse.


Apologies for the clumsy wording. The 3000+ deaths in Chile did not occur in that single day on September 11, 1973. That date was the date of the coup that commenced the killing.
9.11.2008 5:32pm
Ohismith (mail):
I guess we could go through diplomatic channels and try to get the Iranians to release him. OH YEAH, we don't talk to Iran. Oh well, I'm sure he will be fine.
9.11.2008 5:37pm
PC:
When was that?


Around the time the idea of American exceptionalism became prominent.
9.11.2008 5:54pm
neurodoc:
HAHA...i don't think you could make yourself look dumber if you tried.
The braying jackass is back.
9.11.2008 9:30pm
NowMDJD (mail):

And on this date, September 11, over 3000 people died as a result of the U.S. choosing sides in a battle that had nothing to do with us, solely on the belief that the other side was worse.

Which side had we chosen, in which conflict, that was responsible for our being attacked on 9/11/01? It really isn't obvious. Kosovo against Serbia? Bush against Gore?
9.11.2008 9:39pm
Brian K (mail):
The braying jackass is back.

it doesn't help your case that you can't tell braying apart from laughter. it would be sad if it wasn't so funny.
9.11.2008 10:18pm
PLR:
Which side had we chosen, in which conflict, that was responsible for our being attacked on 9/11/01? It really isn't obvious. Kosovo against Serbia? Bush against Gore?

As my corrective second post should make clear, we chose Pinochet over Allende, and the deaths were of Chileans. The coup of September 11, 1973 is not proximately related to the events seven years ago.
9.12.2008 2:19am
neurodoc:
As my corrective second post should make clear, we chose Pinochet over Allende, and the deaths were of Chileans. The coup of September 11, 1973 is not proximately related to the events seven years ago.
Twenty-five years before that, we favored Batista over Castro, and many more than 3,000 Cubans died. Relevance to the subject of this thread, Professor Zakerian's plight???
9.13.2008 3:28am
Harry Eagar (mail):
A clever tu quoque, PLR, although it leaves open the unanswerable, how many political murders if we had stayed out?

And you seem to have your head screwed on backward, since your clever jibe should have been aimed at bin Laden. Sorry, I don't know where he blogs.
9.13.2008 9:54pm