From Tehran to Toronto
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From Tehran to Toronto

The University of Toronto has announced that Ramin Jahanbegloo—academic, author, and former Iranian political prisoner—is returning as a professor of political science and a member of the scholar-at-risk program in Massey College.
Jahanbegloo is a former lecturer at U of T who moved to Tehran to lead the Department of Contemporary Studies at a private institution called the Cultural Research Bureau. In 2006, he was detained without charge (which is perhaps unsurprising seeing as we’re talking about Iran) for approximately four months in the infamous Evin Prison. (Canadian newswatchers may recall that this is the same prison in front of which photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested for taking photographs, leading to her imprisonment, torture, rape, and death. Iranian authorities deny all knowledge.)
Following an awareness campaign by Amnesty, PEN, and many others, Jahanbegloo was eventually released. He left Iran, as you might in the same situation, taking up a position in India before returning to Toronto. He’ll be delivering a public lecture relating to his new book, The Clash of Intolerances, on Monday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Theatre.
It’s a good gain for U of T, though a sad reminder—if another was needed, following the examples of, say, Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali—that freedom of speech is a precarious right in too much of the world and that Iranian authorities are pretty damn loopy.