The Association for Iranian Studies (AIS) expresses its deep condolences to the family of Professor Kavous Seyed Emami who passed away so tragically on 9 February 2018 after two weeks in custody of the Iranian authorities. The Association also expresses its general concern with the current pattern of academics and students being detained or intimidated for engaging in peaceful, independent, and nonpartisan activities, ranging from the endorsement of freedom of expression in general, to academic freedoms, social justice, gender rights, environmental protection, or animal rights. The Association requests that the Iranian authorities immediately authorize an independent and transparent investigation of Dr. Seyed Emami’s death in detention to be carried out under the direct supervision of his family or of their chosen representatives, and with guarantees that his family members and/or representatives will not, as a consequence, face any future legal proceedings or other forms of pressure from the authorities. Professor Kavous Seyed Emami was a much-loved educator, scholar, and environmentalist who selflessly devoted his life to the good of his country in every capacity that he served.
As an independent, non-partisan, non-political, multi-disciplinary international community of over 500 scholars, students, academic and non-academic researchers, and aficionados of Iranian studies, Association for Iranian Studies (AIS) is committed to promoting free exchange of ideas, freedom of expression in all forms and all media, and unrestricted pursuit of (academic and non-academic) research, instruction, publication, and presentation (in Iran and internationally) without fear of intimidation and persecution. The AIS considers any restriction on peaceful acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in any form as violation of basic rights of individuals and detrimental to promoting greater understanding and awareness of Iranian society, cultures, and history. The organization maintains that comprehensive academic and wide-ranging intellectual freedom (including artistic and journalistic freedom) cannot exist without broader respect for human rights, including freedom of expression as well as basic guarantees and provisions of the right to assembly, travel, individual safety and security--irrespective of gender and sexual orientation, class, national/ethnic/racial identity, political ideology, and/or religious/non-religious views of individuals.
President of the Association for Iranian Studies