Iranian Security Forces Target Dr Soroush’s Family and the Serat Institute

• Feb 13th, 2011 • Category: News

News sources are reporting that security forces have recently raided the Serat Institute, the publishing house that publishes Dr Abdulkarim Soroush ‘s works, and its affiliated research institute. The security forces seized documents and subjected the students who were at the institute to many hours of detention, pressure and questioning.   According to Green Movement ( sources, these measures were in line with the pervasive security pressure that is being exerted on Dr Soroush’s family. In recent months, Dr Soroush’s son-in-law has been subjected to psychological and physical pressure, in the course of which he has been asked to speak against his wife (Dr Soroush’s daughter) and against Dr Abdulkarim Soroush himself, and to say that they are “corrupt and adulterous”, so that his statements can be broadcast on Iranian radio and TV.

It has also been reported that at a time when Soroush Dabbagh (Dr Soroush’s son) has been repeatedly summoned by the security forces and had threats made against his life, last Wednesday [9 February], Intelligence Ministry forces raided the Serat Institute and its affiliated research institute, seized the two institutes’ documents, and detained the innocent and unsuspecting students who were at the site and subjected them to questioning for several hours.

It has to be added that, in view of the pressure brought to bear on Abdulkarim Soroush ‘s family in recent months, his children have had to leave Iran and his other relatives fear persecution. Analysts are of the view that the main reason for the unprecedented scale of the pressure on this religious intellectual’s family is the publication – after the June 2009 presidential elections – of several open letters that have been critical of Mr Khamenei.

In one of Dr Soroush’s open letters, he said: “We are a fortunate generation. We will see religious tyranny crumble and we will rejoice.”

The Serat Institute was established in Tehran in 1986 by Abdulkarim Soroush and a number of his friends, who sought official authorization for the institute and were granted it at the time. Over the past 24 years, the institute’s activities have mainly revolved around the publication – in book and CD formats – of the writings and speeches of religious intellectuals, philosophers, researchers and translators who work in the realm of research into religion, Islamic mysticism, contemporary philosophy and modern theology. In addition to disseminating the works of Dr Abdulkarim Soroush , the Serat Institute has published works by Dariush Ashouri, Morad Farhadpour, Arash Naraghi, Soroush Dabbagh and Abolghasem Fanaei. The Serat Institute and its affiliated research institute – which offers courses and hosts speeches and book review sessions and is run under the auspices of Soroush Dabbagh – have had a distinctive and influential presence in the realm of Iranian thought and culture in recent years. These two institutes were closed down for six months in 2003 on the orders of Judge Saeed Mortazavi.


Comments are closed.