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)
Re: International Campaign for the Immediate Release of Omid Kokabee from Prison in Iran
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
Amir Yahya Ayatollahi
Mehdi Jalali Tehrani
Amir Hossein Etemadi
And about 16,000 signatories from all around the world, to be found at this link.
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