Action Memorandum 020

Aug. 30, 1996

FDI deplores arrest of INP activist


The Foundation for Democracy in Iran deplores the arrest of Mr.Sepehr Sanjabi, an activist of the Iran Nation's Party, by theIslamic Republic authorities. According to the INP, Sanjabi wasarrested at his home in Kermanshah on Sunday evening, Aug. 25, byagents of the Intelligence Ministry. He is the head of the Party'sYouth Organization for the Kermanshah region, and is also a prominentleader of the Sanjabi tribe, a Kurdish tribe in Kermanshahprovince.

Mr. Sanjabi had been under close surveillance by the IntelligenceMinistry for some time prior to his arrest. According to an INPstatement released in Tehran on Aug. 27, he was "brutally beaten" byagents of the Intelligence Ministry while participating in the annualmemorial service held in honor of his uncle, Dr. Karim Sanjabi, onJuly 4. Dr. Sanjabi was a well-known nationalist figure who played aninstrumental role in the 1979 revolution against the Shah.

The Iran Nation's Party, to which Mr. Sanjabi belongs, is anon-violent political group seeking democratic change in Iran. Itadvocates free and fair elections under international supervision,and a stronger role for the Iranian armed forces. The party leader,Mr. Darioush Forouhar, briefly served as Labor Minister in theBarzargan government in 1979, and was jailed by the regimeauthorities in 1982. Since his release some 18 months later, hebecame an outspoken opponent of the regime. Despite his advocacy ofnon-violent protest against the regime, Mr. Forouhar hassystematically been denied access to the Iranian media.

The Foundation calls on the Islamic Republic authorities toimmediately and unconditionally release Mr. Sepehr Sanjabi.Furthermore, the Foundation calls on the Islamic Republic to lift theban on free speech that has been in force for the past 17 years, andto allow non-violent political opponents free and fair access to theIranian media.

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