Sunday, January 18, 2009

Statement from Esha Momeni's thesis adviser, Melissa Wall

"Classes begin next week and still the Iranian government has not allowed 

our graduate student, Esha Momeni, to return to the United States. Esha was 
first arrested and jailed in October for conducting video interviews for her 
master's thesis about the Iranian women's movement. Although she was 
released in November on a $200,000 bail, she was not allowed to leave Iran 
and missed the entire fall semester.  If she does not return within the next 
few weeks, she will miss spring semester as well.  As 2009 begins, everyone 
is paying close attention to Iran.  The government of Iran has said that it 
wants educational exchanges with the United States, yet it will not allow 
Esha, a dual national, to do exactly that – to return to the U.S. to 
continue her academic work, which aims to present a positive image of 
Iranian women to the West.  In the spirit of supporting cross-cultural 
understanding, we are asking that Esha be allowed to return to California 
this month to resume her studies." 

Friday, January 16, 2009

For Esha: A Night of Music, Poetry and Reflection

We, as friends of Esha, students and faculty of CSUN, members of the Million Signatures Campaign in Southern California, academics and fellow artists, are delighted and honored to invite you to an evening event that seeks to highlight Esha's continued restriction under a travel ban.

We would like to acknowledge the unity displayed to secure her release and to highlight what can be accomplished when we join hands and work together with a common purpose and unified goal.

Please feel free to bring family and friends. We look forward to seeing you there.

Time: 8:00 pm (Doors open at 7:30 pm)
Date: Friday January 23, 2009
Admission: Free

United University Church
University of Southern California
817 West 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0751

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Esha, dressed in white

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Esha Momeni, banned from leaving the country

(January 13, 2009)

According to AFP, Judiciary spokesperson Ali Reza Jamshidi said on Tuesday that Esha Momeni, has been banned from leaving Iran.  "Ms Momeni was banned from leaving Iran a week ago," Jamshidi told reporters. "Her passport had been given to her but a new issue has opened and the examination of this issue will take about one month," he said, without giving further details. 

Contrary to the recent statement by the Judiciary spokesperson, since Esha Momeni's release from Evin Prison in mid November 2008 her passport has not been returned to her, and she has been unable to leave the country.  An earlier statement that was released by Judiciary spokesperson Mr. Jamshidi early December 2008 stated that there are no travel restrictions for Ms. Momeni; however, officials continued to hold on to her travel documents and prohibited her from coming back to California even when the travel ban was legally lifted.  

No details have been released regarding the claimed new issue.