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Durham University News

Durham University statement on the imprisonment of Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi

Update - September 2011

"The University was extremely heartened by reports in late August of Ehsan's release from prison in Tehran and sought verification from his family who we have been in regular contact with since his arrest. Following contact with Ehsan's father, we are delighted to confirm that Ehsan has been released and sends his thanks to all at the University for their support. We hope to speak directly to Ehsan soon and we will continue to keep our students and staff, many of whom are friends of Ehsan's, informed.

"Having already provided assurances to Ehsan, via his family, that the University will support him in continuing his studies at Durham, we will ensure that staff, including Ehsan's academic colleagues at our School of Government and International Affairs, liaise with Ehsan at the earliest opportunity to explore a way forward to continue his PhD at Durham."

Update - 3rd August 2011

The University has remained in contact with the family of Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi, a Durham PhD student who was arrested in 2009 and imprisoned when returning home to Iran during a period of research leave. We are encouraged by information confirming Ehsan's good health and we continue to outline our commitment and support to Ehsan's family, including any support for Ehsan to complete his studies.

Ehsan recently marked his 32nd birthday (29th of July) in Tehran's Evin prison for which the University relayed the very best wishes of its staff and students to Ehsan via his family.

The University continues to share information to update concerned students and staff and to support Ehsan's friends and fellow students in Durham and beyond who continue to play an important role in keeping the case in the public consciousness.

Update - 28 April 2011

Durham University has received confirmation that our PhD Student, Ehsan Abdoh-Tabrizi - who is serving a 5 year prison sentence in Tehran - has been released from prison on Monday 25th April for a period of six days which may be extended to two weeks. He is reported to be in good health and has sent his thanks to all those who are supporting his case.

The University continues to liaise with Ehsan's family and to keep Ehsan's friends and supporters informed of developments.

Update - Monday 7 March 2011

A University spokesperson said:

"Durham University is very encouraged to have received information from Ehsan's family in Iran that Ehsan continues to be in good health and is continuing with his studies in prison."

Update - 1st March 2011

Professor Anthony Forster, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education said:

"The University is encouraged by confirmation from Ehsan's family that the appeal court in Iran has cleared Ehsan of the charge of 'liaising with foreign enemies', and reduced his sentence from seven to five years comprising two years for 'offending the leader' and three years for participating in anti-government demonstrations. Ehsan has already served more than 1 year of that sentence and remains in Tehran's Evin prison.

"The University continues to work closely with Ehsan's family and will continue to publish information about the case on its website and to signpost media contacts to developments.

"Having sought advice from government, made official representations to the Iranian authorities, and published information to the media, the University has agreed with Ehsan's family to do what we can to support any efforts to ensure Ehsan's case is not forgotten. The family believes that Ehsan's friends and fellow students in Durham and beyond can also play an important role in keeping the case in the public consciousness, drawing on any information or updates relayed via the University.

"We will continue to work with the family in Ehsan's best interests."