The message being sent to Iranian scholars abroad is the same one being given to intellectuals at home: “You are not welcome here anymore.” Those who have had a taste of Iran’s jails and interrogation — including scholars and writers of my generation who work for reformist media in Iran and the British sailors who were recently detained by the government — know what I am talking about. They, too, have endured psychological torture and false charges.

Camelia Entekhabifard, author of the recently published Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth — a Memoir of Iran, writing in today’s New York Times about reform in Iran.  

Entekhabifard refers to the recent crackdown on Iranian scholars, including the case of Haleh Esfandiari. This week, Haleh Esfandiari, 67, a prominent Iranian-American academic and director of the Middle East program at the Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C., was freed on a bail of $320,000.  She was imprisoned in Iran when she returned to the country to visit her 93-year-old mother.  She remains accused of spying for the U.S. and for Israel. 

Entekhabifard was herself arrested when the judiciary closed down Zan, or “woman,” the newspaper she worked for in Iran, in 1999.  Although she was in the U.S. at the time of the shutdown, she was arrested when she returned to Iran.  At the age of 26, she was arrested and held in solitary confinement for three months, during which time she confessed to crimes that she had not committed.  

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