Target: Secretary of State John Kerry
Goal: Urge Iran to release Ph.D. student imprisoned under false charges while visiting his family
Omid Kokabee is an Iranian Ph.D. student studying experimental laser physics from the University of Texas who, after returning home to visit family over the winter holiday, was arrested in February for “communicating with a hostile government” and “illegitimate/illegal earnings.” As a result, Mr. Kokabee was sentenced to 10 years in an Iranian prison. He is not a political activist, is not involved in nuclear-related research, and quite obviously denies all of these ridiculous charges. Nevertheless, Mr. Kokabee spent 15 months in prison before even being convicted in May 2012, lost his appeal in August 2012, was never allowed to see the proof against him, nor was he able to talk with a lawyer. In addition, he has recently been denied medical treatment while serving his sentence.
Numerous organizations associated with Mr. Kokabee, including the American Physical Society, the International Optics Society (SPIE), the Optical Society of America, and the European Optical Society, have written letters to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addressing the possibility that Mr. Kokabee’s charges were meant to coerce him into the Iranian nuclear program. The American Physical Society specifically stated that, “Mr. Kokabee has no training in nuclear physics, is not politically active, and is not associated with any political movement in Iran. Rather his primary concerns were his science studies in the field of optics. This area of physics has essentially no overlap with nuclear technology.”
Please sign this petition and get the U.S. government involved in this terrible breach of human rights.
Dear Mr. Kerry,
The imprisonment of Omid Kokabee in Iran is an issue that requires your very valuable attention. This experimental laser physicist at the University of Texas was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for “communicating with a hostile government” and “illegitimate/illegal earnings.” He has denied all of these allegations and it has been suspected that the Iranian government prosecuted him in order to coerce him to help with nuclear research.
However, Mr. Kokabee’s research has almost nothing to do with nuclear power. He not an political activist, nor politically active in Iran. He simply wants to return to the United States in order to continue his research in optics.
Despite a number of petition letters to the Iranian government, Mr. Kokabee lost his appeal case in May 2012 and is still in the custody of the Iranian prison system—one that has terribly mistreated him and even denied him medical attention.
Though tensions between Iran and America are currently at a crux, the case of Mr. Kokabee is one of human rights. This petition simply asks you, Mr. Kerry, and your office to try and negotiate the return of this one apolitical prisoner to America. Please do all that you can to ensure this injustice is remedied and Mr. Kokabee is allowed to return to his research in Austin, Texas.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: irangreenvoice.com