My students did an incredible job hosting this afternoon’s vigil/rally for their classmate, Esha Momeni, who has been released from prison in Iran. We celebrated her release and we are now hoping she will be allowed to return to the US soon to be with her fellow students and continue her studies.
Update: Check out the LA Daily News’ photo gallery of the event.
Update2: My colleague David Blumenkrantz has a great photo and the fitting quote he read at the vigil up.
Fox 11 had a story featuring our amazing graduate students.
I don’t yet have anyone else’s statement from the event tonight — hopefully I’ll be able to get these soon. Here is mine:
I am very proud of all of my graduate students who have worked so hard to let the world know about Esha Momeni’s situation and who stand here tonight asking that Esha be allowed to return to Cal State Northridge to finish her degree with her classmates.
I am especially proud of Esha – for the courage she has shown in order to share with us a seemingly simple message:
Iranian women are more complex and a lot tougher than the images we so often see of them.
We are not here tonight to offer Esha or any other Iranian woman our pity – but we offer our understanding and our solidarity and to share our hope that Esha be allowed to rejoin us soon to continue her academic work.
While we are happy she has been released from prison, Esha is still in Iran and still facing charges. Her parents put up the deed to their home so that she could be released on bail.
- Write a letter asking the Iranian government to drop all charges and allow Esha to return to California to complete her degree. Based on the recommendations of the Observatory for Human Rights Defenders, consider the following text:
Please guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Esha Momeni, and immediately drop all charges and unconditionally release Ms. Momeni. Her arrest was in connection with her peaceful activities in support of equal rights for women in Iran and in the context of her graduate research. Please allow Ms. Momeni to return to the US without conditions to complete her academic work.
Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sign the online petition asking for her release
- Read the words of her friends and follow the latest news about her case at For Esha.
- Keep up with the Mass Comm graduate students working to free their classmate.