Action Memorandum 001

September 21, 1995

 Disappearance of Javad Rouhani, aged 26, and at least 25others


The Foundation for Democracy has written to the Government ofIran, requesting information on the reported arrest of Javad Rouhani,a 26-year old student in biochemistry, and 25 others, whom it fearsare being held incommunicado as prisoners of conscience.

The Foundation has written to the leader of the Islamic Republic,Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamene'i, President Ali AkbarHashemi-Rafsanjani, the Ministries of Justice, Interior, and ForeignAffairs, and has sent an inquiry to Iran's Permanent Mission to theUnited Nations in New York, to express concern and requestclarification about this case.

Javad Rouhani, the son of Grand Ayatollah Sadegh Rouhani, wasreportedly arrested on 17 July 1995 when members of the Iraniansecurity forces raided his house in Qom. Since then, his family hasbeen unable to discover his whereabouts. On August 1, 1995, at least25 supporters of Grand Ayatollah Rouhani were reportedly arrestedwhen they gathered outside his house to protest the reportedpersecution of him and his family. The Foundation is concerned thatJavad Rouhani and perhaps those arrested during this incident may beheld incommunicado and that those detained may have been arrestedsolely for the non-violent expression of beliefs and as such would beprisoners of conscience.

In June 1985, Grand Ayatollah Rouhani wrote an open letter toPresident Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani in which he criticizedrestrictions on religious rites, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment,forcible exile, beatings, and reported killings. He alleged that hehad been held under house arrest in Qom for more than ten years, andcomplained of insults which he said had been directed against him byhigh-ranking religious figures and which had been broadcast by thestate-controlled media. In an earlier open letter, dated Jan. 7,1995, Grand Ayatollah Rouhani requested permission to leave Iranbecause of threats on his life.

The Foundation joins Amnesty International in seekingclarification from the government of Iran on this case and to explainthe reason for the alleged restrictions on Grand Ayatollah Rouhani'shis freedom of movement, expression, and belief.


The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is a private,non-profit corporation registered in the State of Maryland.Contact: Kenneth R. Timmerman, Executive Director ( materials, including the FDI Newswire, are availablefree-of-charge via the Internet at