PARIS, 31 May (IPS) In the framework of a new crackdown on political dissidents and opponents in Iran, the authorities have prevented recently tens of leading personalities critical to the regime, including Dr. Qasem Sho’leh Sa’di, sources in Tehran and Paris revealed.
Mr. Sho’leh Sa’di, a former lawmaker, attorney and university professor, saw his passport confiscated at Tehran international airport on Tuesday 31 May 2005, minutes before boarding a flight for Paris.
“The authorities only confiscated his passport, but did not arrest him and did not explain the measure either”, confirmed Mr. Javad Sho’leh Sa’di, a younger son who is studying in Paris, adding that his father was due to go to Stockholm to address the Swedish Parliament on 3 June and take part to a one-day conference about the situation in Iran.
Many leading dissidents had called for an outright boycott of the elections.
An outspoken critic of the ruling theocratic system, Dr. Sho’leh Sa’di is known for his bold questioning of the Islamic Republic leader’s political and religious legitimacy, in particular his rank of ayatollah and his anti-American policy that has cost Iran very expensively both in political and economic fields.
He was arrested last year about the same time on his return from Paris to Tehran and held near 40 days in an undisclosed prison where he had been badly tortured.
The new crackdown started with the registration of candidates to the coming presidential elections due 17 June 2005, an exercise sharply criticised and denounced by many leading dissidents that had called for an outright boycott of the elections in the one hand and a national referendum allowing Iranian to freely decide on their future regime on the other. SHOLEH SAADI BARRED 31505