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Iranian Professor Jailed After Attending Training Course in Czech Republic

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

On Friday, February 12, 2021, Endangered Scholars Worldwide learned that a court in Tehran has sentenced Reza Eslami, a dual Iranian-Canadian citizen and a law professor, to seven years in prison on charges of “cooperating with an enemy state” and undermining “the national security.” According to BBC Persian, Eslami had also been banned from teaching and leaving the country.

Reza Eslami | Photo Credit: Facebook

According to Radio Free Europe, Eslami, who is a graduate of Canada’s McGill University, was arrested in May 2020 and charged with “cooperating with an enemy state through his participation in a law training course in the Czech Republic.”

In a recorded audio message released from prison, Eslami dismissed the charges as “bogus,” stating that his academic work has always been free of “political, security and foreign-relations issues.”

People close to Eslami have said that the training course was organized by a Czech NGO that receives some of its funding from the United States. They had been told that Eslami, who taught human rights law before his arrest, had no connections with anyone from the U.S. government.

Eslami joins a string of dual nationals sentenced to lengthy prison terms in Iran, most sharing citizenship with Western countries, and many arrested on arbitrary espionage charges.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide deplores and condemns the arbitrary detention of Reza Eslami and calls upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest this arbitrary incarceration; to call for Eslami’s immediate and unconditional release; to urge the officials of the Iranian government to end the tactic of taking of dual citizen scholars and students hostage for political gains; and to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights.

Please send appeals to the following:

President Hassan Rouhani

The Office of the President

Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection


Islamic Republic of Iran

Javad Zarif

Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Minister’s Office

Imam Khomeini Square


Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 66743149




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