In the Arena

Free Bijan Khajepour

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When I visited Iran in 2001, several people told me I had to meet Bijan Khajepour–an Iranian expatriate who had returned to his homeland after Mohammed Khatami’s victory in the 1997 presidential election, in the hope that Iran wasabout to rejoin the world. In fact, Bijan was not only a great source of information about the country, he was an utter delight, a wonderful man. And now, according to Trita Parsi, Bijan has been imprisoned:

A few days after the contentious presidential elections in Iran, Bijan took a short business trip to Austria and the U.K., where he spoke at chambers of commerce, advising companies to continue seeking business In Iran.
For some, such actions were apparently a crime so heinous that Bijan was arrested when he arrived at Tehran’s airport on June 27. He was taken away by unidentified men to an undisclosed location without notice. To this day, his family does not know where he is, or on what grounds he was arrested. He wasn’t even in the country when the post-election turmoil started.
A diabetic in dire need of his medicine and a strict diet, Bijan’s health is now in danger. Undoubtedly, his wife and two school-age daughters fear for him more and more with every passing day.

In a time of monstrous outrages, this is a stiletto of inhumanity on the part of Iran’s government. Bijan Khajepour should be freed immediately. He should never have been arrested. My regards, hopes and prayers go out to his wife and daughters.