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The IHRDC Condemns Imprisonment of Physician Brothers

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 29, 2009

NEW HAVEN - The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) today denounced the recent convictions and sentencing of doctors Kamiar and Arash Alaei to lengthy prison terms by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

The brothers, who are renowned in Iran and the international community for their work in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, were unlawfully detained by the Iranian regime’s security forces in June of 2008. Held incommunicado in an undisclosed location on unknown charges for six months, the brothers were finally brought to trial on December 31. The brothers received a one day trial that many claim failed to meet both Iranian and international standards for a fair trial. Dr. Arash Alaei was sentenced to serve six years in prison, while his brother Kamiar was given a prison sentence of three years.

Iranian government officials recently disclosed that the brothers and two other unidentified individuals had been accused of participating in a US-backed plot to overthrow the government. The charges reportedly included acting against national security through cooperation with America, propaganda against the system, and membership in groups hostile to the system. It has also been reported that at least some of the charges stemmed from trips the brothers made to the United States to participate in conferences concerned with the prevention and maintenance of HIV/AIDS.

The IHRDC is a nonprofit organization based in New Haven, Connecticut that was founded in 2004 by a group of human rights scholars, activists, and historians. Its staff of human rights lawyers and researchers produce comprehensive and detailed reports on the human rights situation in Iran since the 1979 revolution. The Center’s goal is to encourage an informed dialogue among scholars and the general public in both Iran and abroad. The human rights reports and an archive of documents are available to the public for research and educational purposes at www.iranhrdc.org.

Contact: Renee C. Redman, IHRDC Executive Director, (203) 772-2218 Ext. 215 rredman@iranhrdc.org