July 08, 2005

Free Dr. Hossein Ghazian

Petition To Head of the Judiciary and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and European Parliament

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the condition of Dr. Hossein Ghazian, an Iranian sociologist, public opinion expert, and the director of Ayandeh Research Institute, who is held in Evin Prison since October 30, 2002. Dr. Ghazian was tried and charged with the alleged “crime” of “cooperating with a belligerent state (the U.S.) through conducting opinion polls for Gallup Organization and Zogby Polling Institute,” and "waging propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran." It should be noted that his cooperation with Gallup and Zogby was based on a contract and for doing scholarly research of public opinions, the results of which have since been published for public use.

Hossein Ghazian, a Ph.D. in sociology and a recognized expert in the field of opinion polls, was among those in Ayandeh team who had accurately predicted the surprise victory of President Khatami during the May 1997 elections.

Dr. Ghazian was first sentenced to 9 years and 6 months of imprisonment, but by a second court, his sentence was reduced to 4 years and 6 months. He was kept in solitary confinement for almost one year, mistreated physically and psychologically, and was denied access to his lawyers and family members. Later, he was transferred to a 'special section' of the Evin prison.

Late last year Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to an inquiry affirmed that the United States cannot be considered as a “belligerent State”. Pursuant to this statement, Mr. Abbas Abdi, who was also arrested and tried for the same charges at the same time, was released from the prison. Legal efforts have also been made to send Dr. Ghazian’s case to a higher court for review, but, Judge Saeed Mortazavi--now Tehran's Chief Prosecutor, has denied the same treatment to Dr. Ghazian’s case.

With existing standards Dr. Ghazian has done a scholarly opinion study and shall not be punished for the results of his research. We believe that he is imprisoned primarily for exercising his freedom of expression which should be guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.

تبليغات خبرنامه گويا


We are extremely disturbed by the refusal of Tehran Chief Prosecutor to a reconsideration of Dr. Ghazian’s case. We ask that all his charges be dropped unconditionally and demand his release from prison immediately.

Initial petitioners in alphabetical order:

Ramin Ahmadi, Yale University
Kazem Alamdari, California State University Los Angeles
Hooshang AmirAhmadi, Rutgers University
Mehran Barati, Berlin
William Beeman, Brown University
Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Syracuse University
Goudarz Eghtedari, Portland State University
Kaveh Ehsani, Middle East Report
Nader Entessar, Spring Hill College
Mansour Farhang, Bennington College
Farideh Farhi, University of Hawaii
Amir H. Ganjbakhshe, National Institute of Health
Nader Hashemi, University of Toronto
Azadeh Kian-Thiébaut, University of Paris VIII
Ali Akbar Mahdi, Ohio Wesleyan University
Mehrdad Mashayekhi, George Town University
Mohamad Navab, University of California Los Angeles
Misagh Parsa, Dartmouth College
Jalil Roshandel, Duke University
Ahmad Sadri, Lake Forest College
Mahmoud Sadri, Texas Woman’s University
Poopak Taati, Independent Scholar
Majid Tehranian, University of Hawaii
Nayereh Tohidi, California State University, Northridge
Hamid Zangeneh, Widener University

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