Release Omid Kokabee from Prison in Iran

Updated at 2016-04-28 05:19:52 UTC


His Excellency Ban-Ki Moon 

Secretary General of United Nations 

The United NationsNew York, NY 10017‎ 


About 16,000 signatories from all around the world (refer to attachment)

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Re: International Campaign for the Immediate Release of Omid Kokabee from Prison in Iran

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned from all around the world, are addressing you and calling on your sense of humanity and your responsibility as the United Nations’s highest official to take action against an iniquity. Omid Kokabee, born in 1982, is an Iranian physicist and a postdoctoral student in atomic physics with a focus on laser research at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2011, he traveled back to Iran to visit his family, but was arrested on January 11, 2011 upon leaving Iran in the airport. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and is currently serving time.

The main reason for his incarceration is his refusal to cooperate with the Iranian regime in its military projects. He was condemned based on absurd charges such as relations with the Academia and scientific circles and institutions abroad.

He has taken a strong and heroic position by resisting pressures and even withstanding prison instead of treading underfoot his moral principles as not to use his scientific knowledge for destructive purposes.

He has been saluted so far by multiple human rights awards. He is a brilliant physics student with no record of political activity who has undergone serious physical and psychological harms in prison. He has been suffering from an acute kidney disease for two years, yet the prison officials have been denying him access to advanced medical treatment. A few days ago, we were struck by the most dismal news: Omid’s lawyer announced that unfortunately, he had been diagnosed with a type of kidney cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma) due to a malignant tumor in his right kidney.

Omid has undergone an urgent nephrectomy surgery and his right kidney has been removed. The Iranian regime is responsible for Omid’s health and should account for anything unfortunate happening to him.

With respect to Omid’s particular situation as an Iranian with a sensitive scientific specialization, and as he himself expressed in a letter to the public prosecutor, there is serious concern that some invisible will in the corridors of power does not want him to come alive out of prison.

Omid’s health condition is such that he shouldn’t stay any longer in prison and deferral of his release would cause him irreversible harms. The Iranian regime should be urged to release Omid and his family should decide where he is to receive further treatment. We are writing this letter to call your attention to Omid’s case, and ask you to use all available means to have Omid released from prison.

Attached you will find the web link in demonstration of the support of more than 15,000 signatories to this letter. This massive mobilization in favor of Omid (proved also by more than 300,000 #FreeOmid hashtags over the past few days), demonstrates that there is a high expectation of you in the public opinion in terms of quick action in this matter.

Waiting for your favorable action to save Omid’s life, we remain. Best regards.

Attachment- signatories to the letter:

Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Lawyer & Activist, Founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2003)

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Human Rights Lawyer & Activist; Sakharov Prize winner 

Mohammad Maleki, Former President of the University of Tehran, Activist

Jafar Panahi, Film Director, Sakharov Prize winner

Javier El-Hage, Chief Legal Officer, Human Rights Foundation

Sonia Paban, Associate Professor in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin

Can Kilic, Assistant Professor in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin

Mohammad Mostafaei, Human Rights lawyer & Director at Universal Tolerance Organization

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, Professor in Molecular Neuroscience at University of Oslo & Human Rights Activist

Ammar Maleki, Assistant Professor in Political Science at Tilburg University

Mehdi Marashi, Author, Professor Emeritus in Persian language and linguistics

Aram Hesami, Professor in Political Science at Montgomery College

Reza Farokhfal, Instructor in Farsi, Farsi Language Coordinator at the University of Colorado at Boulder

Mohammad Yaghoubi, Playwright and Theater Director

Rudi Bakhtiar, TV Producer and Journalist

Mahnaz Parakand, Human Rights Lawyer & Activist

Afrooz Maghzi, Human Rights Lawyer

Mansoureh Shojaee, Human Rights Activist & Writer

Parastou Forouhar, Artist, Writer, and Human Rights Activist

Reza Allamehzadeh, Filmmaker, Film critic and Writer Elahe Amani, Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediator at Mediators Beyond Borders International

Sahand Tahmasebi, Neuropsychologist at UBC & Clinical Research Assistant at Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre

Bijan Miremadi, Retired Professor in Physics and Research Scientist at Simon Fraser University, Former Dean and Founder of Engineeing School at Ahvaz University, Iran

Nayereh Tohidi, Professor and Former Chair of the Department of Gender & Women Studies at the California State University

Tamar Eilam Gindin, IranologistMasih Alinejad, Journalist

Reza Khandan, Rights ActivistMorteza Negahi, Author and Journalist Shirin Famili, Journalist

Ahmad Rafat, JournalistDarya Safai, Women’s rights activistHamid

Reza ZarifiNia, Journalist

Nahid Ghani, Research Associate in History, Simon Fraser University

Mehran Barati, Politician and Researcher at Free University of Berlin

Shahrzad Sepanlou, ArtistShahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, Artist

Fereshteh Molavi, WriterSanaz Fotouhi, Writer

Mojdeh Shamsaee, ArtistSoheil Parsa, Film Director, Writer, Actor

Reza Allamehzadeh, Film DirectorMaede Soltani, Human Rights Activist

Maryam Hosseinkhah, Human Rights Activist

Lida Hosseini Nejad, Journalist

Hassan Nayeb Hashem, Human Rights Activist

Ali Kheradpir, Journalist

Jamileh Nedai, Freelance Filmmaker and Theater Director Fati Mohammadi, Actress

Hamid Ehya, Theater Director, Actor, and Translator Hossein Sharang, Writer & Poet

Soheil Azizi, Theater Actor

Mehrdad Arian Nejad, Director at Tirgan Festival Shahrokh Heidari, Cartoonist

Scott Amandola, Jaaz Musician

Fatemeh Ekhtesari, Poet

Mehdi Mousavi, Poet

Shadi Yousefian, Artist

Potkin Azarmehr, Blogger and TV Producer

Afshin Nariman, TV Host and Producer

Sam Ghandchi, Journalist

Pooya Jahandar, Human Rights Activist

Pejman Akbarzadeh, Musician, Journalist and Radio Producer 

Mohammad Taghi Karoubi, Legal Adviser to Avicenna Research Center and Member of Bioethics and Law Committee

Maryam Faghihimani, President at the Center for Cultural Diplomacy & Development

Damon Golriz, Lecturer at The Hague University of applied sciences and a fellow of the research group International Peace, Justice and Security

Ahmed Pouri, Founder and Director of PRIME, Participating Refugees in Multicultural Europe Pouria Alimoradi, Ph.D Student of Iranian Studies at Toronto University

Avideh Motmaen Far, Journalist and Artist

Sheema Kalbasi, poet, Filmmaker, and Rights Activist

Nizam Missaghi, Physician and Civil Rights Activist

Sepideh Shokri Poori, PhD Candidate, Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines - Université Laval

Masood Masjoody 

Ashkan Monfared

Daniel Jafari

Saeid Hosseinpour

Amir Yahya Ayatollahi

Behzad Mehrani

Leily Nikounazar

Nasrin Afzali

Ashkan Safaei

Mehdi Jalali Tehrani

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Ali Ashtari

Salman Sima

Mohammad Izadi

Amir Hossein Etemadi

Arash Sobhani

Borzumehr Toloui

Youhan Najdi

Emad Molaeinejad

Nina Vabab

Amin Riahi

And about 16,000 signatories from all around the world, to be found at this link.

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