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CSUN President Koester Expresses Relief and Gratitude Upon the Return of Graduate Student Esha Momeni

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(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Aug. 14th, 2009) ―

Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester expressed gratitude and relief at the return to the United States of graduate student Esha Momeni, who was imprisoned and then detained by the Iranian government for nearly a year.

Esha Momeni

Esha Momeni

“It is wonderful news to learn that Cal State Northridge graduate student Esha Momeni has returned safely to Los Angeles,” Koester said in a statement. “All of us in the CSU Northridge community have been looking forward to this day. I have met briefly with Esha, and she appears to be in fine spirits. I know that she is looking forward to resuming her graduate studies in a few days.

“I want to express my gratitude on behalf of the entire university to those who worked tirelessly for her return,” Koester continued. “I’m confident that I speak for everyone in the California State University, Northridge community when I say ‘Welcome home Esha!’ ”

Momeni, a mass communication student, was arrested on Oct. 15, 2008 in Tehran for videotaping interviews with participants of the Campaign for Equality, a gender rights group in Iran, for her master’s thesis. She was held in solitary confinement for 25 days in Evin prison and charged with acting against national security. Upon her release from the prison last November, Iranian officials confiscated her passport and forbade her to leave the country.

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