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Joint statement calling for the release of unlawfully detained Iranian poets and writers

Asadollahi has been an inspiring and leading poet of his generation, with six outstanding and widely read poetry collections. His rich repertoire of publications proves his outstanding status in the context of contemporary Iranian literature. Asadollahi’s literary output sparks with innovative poetic forms and a deep sense of political consciousness. Asadollahi is an internationally acclaimed poet and his work has been so far translated into English, Italian, and French and is published in a number of prestigious journals including Roanoke Review, Alchemy, Palaver, and The Persian Literature Review.

As academics, critics, poets, and writers, we the signatories of this statement strongly condemn the unlawful detention of Ali Asadollahi and demand his immediate and unconditional release. We stand in solidarity with Ali, Danial, and Mehdi’s families, and other writers who have been wrongfully arrested, tortured and executed for protesting against oppression, misogyny, and state violence against women. The continuing persecution and prosecution of Iranian writers constitute clear violations of their freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience, as protected by Iran’s own laws and its legal obligations under international law. We call on the international community to hold this criminal regime accountable for its heinous crimes against writers and poets.



1.      Orhan Pamuk, novelist, Turkey 

2.      Hisham Matar, novelist, Libya-UK

3.      Khaled Khalifa, novelist, Syria

4.      Jia Zhangke, writer and filmmaker, China

5.      Bi Gan, poet and filmmaker, China

6.      Charles Bernstein, Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania; Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

7.      Béla Tarr, filmmaker, Hungary 

8.      Sinan Antoon, Iraqi Novelist, Associate Professor, New York University

9.      Zeynep Oral, President PEN, TurkeyJoint

10.   Peter Sloterdijk, Professor of Philosophy, Karlsruhe, Germany

11.   Moniroo Ravanipour, Novelist, Iran-USA.

12.   Mikhal Dekel, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, City College of the City University of New York 

13.   Matvei Yankelevich, World Poetry Books, Editor-in-Chief, New York, NY

14.   Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English, Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania

15.   Shahriar Mandanipoor, Novelist, Iran-USA.

16.   Sanar Yurdatapan, Lyricist and Composer, Initiative for Freedom of Expression, Turkey

17.   Farzaneh Milani, Writer and literary critic, University of Virginia

18.   Abbas Milani, Director of the Iranian Studies Program, Stanford University

19.   Nasrin Rahimieh, Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine

20.   Ali Mirsepasi, Albert Gallatin Research Excellence Professor of Middle Eastern Studies. NYU

21.   Fatemeh Shams, Poet and Assistant Professor of Modern Persian Literature, University of Pennsylvania

22.   Homa Hoodfar, Concordia University, dept sociology and Anthropology 

23.   Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Inaugural Director, Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies, University of Toronto

24.   Ali Behdad, Professor of Comparative Literature, UCLA

25.   Ben Sharrock, writer and filmmaker

26.   Azar Nafisi, Iranian Novelist

27.   Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

28.   Huda Fakhreddine, Associate Professor of Arabic Literature, University of Pennsylvania

29.   Ahmad Almallah, poet, Artist in Residence in Creative Writing at University of Pennsylvania

30.   Barbad Golshiri, artist and critic 

31.   Amir Ahmadi Arian, Novelist and Adjunct Assistant professor of Creative Writing, CUNY City College, New York

32.   Hamid Amouzad Khalili, Lecturer in Architectural, Interior and Spatial Design, ESALA, University of Edinburgh

33.   Kamran Matin, Senior Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Sussex University, UK

34.   Nacim Pak-Shiraz, Professor of Cinema and Iran, University of Edinburgh 

35.   Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Boston College

36.   Nuno Ferreira, Professor of Law, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex, UK

37.   Farshad Sonboldel, Poet, Middle East Studies Librarian and Area Studies Collection Strategist, University of California Santa Barbara

38.   Behzad Zerehdaran, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne

39.   Bahar Abdi, PhD Student, Literature Department, University of California, San Diego

40.   Taha Mirhoseini, Poet

41.   Hamideh Farahmandian, MPhil Candidate in Architecture and Urban Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge

42.   Mohamad Hosein Mansouri, Student, Economics, Technical University of Berlin

43.   Elie During, Professor of Philosophy, European Graduate School

44.   Babak Rahimi, Department of Literature, UC San Diego 

45.   Moira Dustin, Lecturer, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex, UK

46.   Ata Heshmati, PhD student, the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST), University of Toronto.

47.   Bahareh Badiei, PhD candidate, Journalism and Media Studies Department, Rutgers University 

48.   Reza Khabook, Research Assistant and Doctoral Student, Academy for European Human Rights Protection, University of Cologne 

49.   Tiba Bonyad, PhD Candidate, Sociology Department, University of Manchester

50.   Soroush Marouzi, PhD candidate, the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST), University of Toronto

51.   Mina Hosseinpourtehrani, Research Assistant, Department of Disaster Management, University of Newcastle, Australia

52.   Hemn Seyedi, PhD in region planning, second PhD candidate in Kurdish studies, University of Exeter, UK 

53.   Reem Hazboun Taşyakan, PhD Candidate, Literature Department, University of California, San Diego

54.   Afrooz Mosallaei, PhD student, Journalism and Media Studies Department, Rutgers University

55.   Mahtab Saadatmandi, PhD Student, Cultural Studies, Modern Language School, University of St Andrews

56.   Laya Jalilian Khave, Post-Doctoral Associate, Yale School of Medicine, Psychiatry Department, United States

57.   Nilufar Karimi, Poet, PhD Student, Literature Department, University of California, San Diego

58.   Seyedeh Parisa Sajjadi, PhD Candidate, School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews, UK

59.   Vahid Davar, PhD Candidate, School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews, UK

60.   Melina Jung, PhD Student, Literature Department, University of California, San Diego

61.   Samuel Kim, PhD Student, Literature Department, University of California, San Diego

62.   Dacia Pajé, PhD Candidate, Communication, Culture and Media Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia

63.   Amin Bozorgiyan, PhD Candidate and researcher in sociology and anthropology at University of Côté d’Azur

64.   Ann Marie Brennan, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Building, and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia

65.   Ali Abdollahi, Poet and translator 

66.   Liliana López, Poet and student, Department of Foreign Languages, National University of Colombia 

67.   Gregg Low, Poet

68.   Patty Quinn, Alumna, University of Pennsylvania, Layout Assistant, Friends Journal

69.   Ron Silliman, Poet, Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania

70.   H. Gabriel Maya, Spanish teacher

71.   Austin O’Malley, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

72.   Chris Murray, poet and essayist, Ireland

73.   Mark Ford, poet and Professor of English, University College London

74.   Val Moulton, poet and musician

75.   Alex Selenitsch, Senior Lecturer and artist, University of Melbourne

76.   Hamish Ford, poet, filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Deputy Head of School, University of Newcastle 

77.   Hoornaz Keshavarzian, PhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University

78.   Claudia Yaghoobi, Associate Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill

79.   Amir Moosavi, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University-Newark

80.   Viviana Fiorentino, poet, Belfast

81.   Hedyeh Gamini, PhD Candidate and researcher in architecture, Deakin University

82.   Pamela Karimi, University of Massachusetts, College of Visual and Performing Arts

83.   Saeed Talajooy, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Persian, University of St Andrews

84.   Kazim Ali, Professor and Chair of the Department of Literature at University of California, San Diego

85.   Parmis Mozafari, Lecturer in Persian, University of St Andrews 

86.   Nicki Hitchcott, Professor, University of St Andrews 

87.   Diana Vonnak, postdoctoral researcher, University of St Andrews

88.   Julia Prest, Professor, University of St Andrews, Scotland

89.   Claudia Rossignoli, Assistant Professor, University of St Andrews

90.   Elodie Laügt, Centre for Poetic Innovation – director, University of St Andrews

91.   Sholeh Wolpé,  Writer-In-Residence, University of California, Irvine

92.   Alireza Abiz; Poet and Literary Scholar, Albert Gallatin Research Excellence Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies

93.   Julie Hugonny, Lecturer, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

94.   Oya Baydar, Novelist, Turkey

95.   Emily Finer, Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews, Scotland

96.   Malihe Vasfinejad, Designer and Graduate Student, University College London, UK

97.   Marine Ganofsky, Lecturer, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

98.   Richard Koeck, Professor of media and architecture, Liverpool, United Kingdom

99.   Ros Holmes, Lecturer, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

100.  Jesse Gardiner, Lecturer, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK

101.   Nil Mutluer, Senior Researcher, Leipzig University, Germany

102.  Jordi Larios, Professor, University of St Andrews, Scotland

103.  Ahmet Aykaç, Professor (Emeritus) of Economics

104.  Ali Ansari, Professor of Iranian History, University of St Andrews

105.  Ted Bergman, Lecturer, University of St Andrews, Scotland

106.  Şebnem İşigüzel Novelist, Turkey

107.  Firoozeh Kashani Sabet, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania 

108.  Liliana Chávez, Lecturer, University of St Andrews, Scotland

109.  David Evans, Lecturer, University of St Andrews, UK

110.   Leonard Schwartz, Professor of Poetics, The Evergreen State College

111.    Cevza Sevgen, Professor Emerita, Bogazici University

112.   Alpar Sevgen, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Bogazici University

113.   Zehra Kabasakal Arat, Professor, University of Connecticut

114.   Pauline Souleau, Lecturer, University of St Andrews, Scotland

115.   Ahmet Ümit, Novelist, Turkey

116.   Ali Ekber Ataş,  Poet, Turkey

117.    Alpar Sevgen, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Bogazici University,  Turkey

118.   Ayfer Tunç, Novelist , Turkey

119.   Ayşe Erzan, Physicist, APS 2020 Andrei Sakharov Award, Turkey

120.  Ayşegül Devecioğlu, Novelist, Turkey

121.   Babür Pınar,  Poet, Turkey

122.  Bülent Tekin, Poet  and author, Turkey

123.  Cevat Çapan, Poet, Turkey

124.  Cevza Sevgen, Professor Emerita, English Literature, Bogazici University, Turkey

125.  Doğu Yücel, Novelist, Turkey

126.  Erol Köroğlu, Associate Professor of Modern Turkish Literature, Bogazici University, Turkey

127.   Figen Şakacı, Novelist, Turkey

128.  Gaye Boralıoğlu, Novelist,  Turkey

129.   Güngör Şenkal,  Author,  Austria

130.   Majid Naficy, Iranian-American poet

131.    Hacer Ansal,  Academician,  Turkey

132.   Hasan Öztoprak, Novelist, Turkey

133.   Hatice Meryem, Novelist, Turkey

134.   Haydar Ergülen, Poet,  Turkey

135.   Irmak Zileli, Novelist, Turkey

136.   İsmail Beşikçi, Author, Turkey

137.    Jaklin Çelik, Novelist, Turkey

138.   Kemal Varol, Novelist, Turkey

139.   Latife Tekin, Novelist, Turkey

140.   Levent Kaçar,  Author, poet, documentary filmmaker, Turkey

141.     Mahir Ünsal Eriş, Novelist, Turkey

142.    Mahmut Mutman, Professor, Cultural Studies, Turkey

143.    Mahmut Temizyürek,  Author, poet, Turkey

144.    Mehmet Özer,  Author, poet, photographic artist, Turkey

145.    Murat Gülsoy, Novelist, Turkey

146.    Murat Uyurkulak, Novelist, Turkey

147.     Murathan Mungan, Poet-novelist, Turkey

148.    Müge İplikçi, Writer, Turkey

149.     Nazar Büyüm, Poet and author, Turkey

150.     Necmiye Alpay, Writer,  Turkey

151.      Neşe Yaşin, poet, Cyprus 

152.     Nil Mutluer, Leipzig University, Germany

153.     Nurcan Baysal, Writer, Turkey

154.     Oylum Yılmaz Eriş, Novelist, Turkey

155.     Pelin Buzluk, Novelist, Turkey

156.     Sait Çetinoğlu, Author, Turkey

157.      Sema Kaygusuz, Novelist, Turkey

158.      Sezai Sarıoğlu, Poet, Turkey

159.      Sibel Özbudun, Author, Academician, Turkey

160.     Şiar Rişvanoğlu, Author, Lawyer, Turkey

161.      Tarık Günersel, Poet, Turkey

162.      Temel Demirer, Author, Turkey

163.     Ümit Kıvanç, Writer,  Turkey

164.     Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat, Professor of Political Science , Connecticut

165.     Judyth Hill, Poet, President of San Miguel PEN, Director of Poetry Mesa

166.     Collette Sell, Poet, USA

167.      Michelle Sell, Poet, USA

168.     Pamela Walker, Writer, USA

169.     Bettina Bildhauer, Professor of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews, UK

170.     Thomas A Clark, poet, Scotland

171.      Jinous Taghizadeh, artist and essayist 

172.     Neon Mashurov, poet, USA

173.     Amir Soltani, writer and filmmaker, USA

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