Free Iranian Economist Fariborz Raisdana
Petition Background (Preamble):
Fariborz Raisdana, Iranian economist and member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was arrested and imprisoned in May 2012 to serve an earlier sentence of one-year imprisonment.
According to the Iranian Writers’ Association, Raisdana had been initially arrested more than a year ago following an interview he gave to BBC Persian service in December 2010, in which he had criticized the Iranian government’s plan for slashing redistribution schemes. During interrogations, he was also charged with membership of the Iranian Writers’ Association. Raisdana was released on bail after a month, but in December 2011, the Appeal Court confirmed the one-year imprisonment sentence.
Raisdana graduated from London School of Economics (LSE) in the 1970s. Since then he has published several books and a number of articles on economics and the Iranian economy from a Left perspective. He previously taught economics at Tehran University, but was suspended from all academic positions some years ago.
The so-called “subsidies reform plan” of the Ahmadinejad administration has been subject to severe criticism by several analysts and economists inside Iran, but Raisdana was among the few who emphasized the socio-economic impact of the reform on the working-class and low-income groups.
We demand the immediate and unconditional release of our colleague Fariborz Raisdana in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory, and a complete repeal of the Islamic Republic of Iran's court sentence against him. Fariboz Raisdana has been persecuted solely for pursuing his duties as an academic and intellectual publicizing the results of his academic analysis and his sympathy for and support of the Iranian working-class.