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Iran: Free Physicist and Prisoner of Conscience Omid Kokabee

    Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 13:20

    Free Iranian Physicist Omid KokabeeOmid Kokabee was arrested at the airport as he was leaving Iran on January 30, 2011.  He was returning to his PhD studies in physics at the University of Texas. He was held for 15 months in pre-trial detention, before his trial in May 2012 on charges of “contact with hostile countries” and "receiving illicit payments”. The payments referred to a stipend he received from the University of Texas for his studies. His televised trial, alongside 12 others, was unfair. 

    No evidence against him was presented in court and he was not allowed to speak with his lawyer beforehand. 

    Omid Kokabee was held in solitary confinement, interrogated for long periods and pressured to make “confessions”. He says he was made to write down details of people he had seen in embassies or at conferences; his interrogators then accused some of those people of being CIA operatives.

    Please write a polite letter to Iranian authorities

    • Call on the authorities to release Omid Kokabee immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association, including his studies and work as a physicist
    • Call on them to overturn his conviction and sentence.
    • Call on them to ensure that Omid Kokabee is granted regular access to his lawyer and any medical attention he may require.
    • Urge them to permit Omid Kokabee to pursue higher academic studies from prison, as permitted under the Iranian Prison Regulations and international standards on prisoners, including the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

    Send your letter to:

    * Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei  [Salutation: Your Excellency]
    The Office of the Supreme Leader
    Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran


    * Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani  [Salutation: Your Excellency]
    (care of) Public relations Office
    Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
    Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

    Email: (please use the subject line: FAO Ayatollah Larijani)

    * Hassan Rouhani  [Salutation: Your Excellency]
    The Presidency
    Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran



    Other Ways to Take Action for Omid Kokabee

    Send a message via website

    Website of the Office of the Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei

    Circulate Amnesty's "Student Card" action

    Amnesty International Canada has an action symbolic “student card” for Omid Kokabee and three other imprisoned students in Iran. The cards can be used in your events as actions. Please contact for more information.


    Learn more about Omid Kokabee's case

    In an open letter written from prison in April 2013 Omid Kokabee said: “During interrogations which were conducted in solitary confinement, while all my communication with my family and the outside world was cut off, and while I was constantly being put under pressure and threats by receiving news about the horrible physical and mental state of my family, I was asked again and again to write up various versions of my personal history after 2005”.

    Omid Kokabee has also said that since his graduation from university in 2005 he had been “invited several times to work as a scientist and technical manager for military and intelligence projects.” These instances include being offered admission to a PhD program with full sponsorship by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. He declined all invitations.

    Omid Kokabee, a member of Iran’s Turkmen minority, achieved one of the highest score for the university entrance exam across Iran and was selected among a group of top students to meet with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei in 2000. He has always been interested in science and undertook a double degree in Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering at Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology and pursued graduate studies at the Institute of Photonic Studies in Spain. Scientists around the world have been campaigning for Omid Kokabee’s release as well, including in Spain, the UK, and the USA.