Graduate student imprisoned in Iran returns to US

Last Updated: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 12:52

Los Angeles: A graduate student who was imprisoned for a month in Iran and barred from leaving the country for nearly a year has returned to Los Angeles.
Esha Momeni, 29, was charged with acting against Iran`s national security and held mainly in solitary confinement after conducting research on the Iranian women`s rights movement for her thesis at California State University, Northridge.

In an interview, Momeni said she arrived in Los Angeles this week and, once her exhaustion passes, she wants to continue working on Iranian rights issues.

Momeni`s arrest came on October 15, after she was pulled over by armed intelligence agents and taken to her family`s Tehran home, where her thesis research was confiscated. Her computer and video interviews with activists were among the things taken by the agents.

Prior to her arrest, Momeni`s research in Iran consisted of interviews with members of the women`s movement, focusing on the One Million Signatures campaign which calls for equity in the law between genders.

Momeni spent 25 days of her 28-day term in solitary confinement and was interrogated 19 times. Momeni said she was not physically tortured and, as a dual citizen of the US and Iran, her treatment was more humane than others held in notorious Evin prison

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 12:52

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