Here in Canada we have The Harper bringing the political wizard from Oz to praise their American Idol, The Bush, while in Europe — in Berlin, Germany, to be precise — a Nobel Laureate for Literature, Gunter Grass, lambastes The Bush and Co. for crimes and other actions that only encourage terrorism and strengthen dictatorial regimes. Grass opened the 72nd International PEN Congress, Writing in a World without Peace this week, where writers from more than 90 countries are gathered to share information regarding freedom of expression and writing around the world.
At the PEN Canada website is a Take Action item regarding Iranian-Canadian writer and philosopher, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who has been detained in Tehran since about April 27, 2006. He has not been informed as to why he is being held, but there are some suggestions that it is because he has contacts with foreigners. The UK-based Open Democracy says Mr. Jahanbegloo is a philosopher committed to the principle of non-violence and that he has worked tirelessly to foster cultural understanding and dialogue between Iranians and other societies. Their open letter, demanding his release, is signed by hundreds of scholars from around the globe. Though he has not been tortured, there is concern for his health and PEN Canada demands he be released immediately and unconditionally.
Thanks to Book Ninja for the lead on this.