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Free – and Together – at Last!

Following years of campaigning for their release, PHR welcomes Doctors Arash and Kamiar Alaei to the US! The brothers, renowned Iranian physicians, were detained in June 2008 by Iranian authorities, and were recently released from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Photos of the two of them together at a recent event honoring them can be seen on PHR’s Facebook page.

The doctors, together at last
(Nov 7, 2011). Photo: Amy Hart.

“UAlbany AIDS doctor’s brother home in U.S.”

The Albany, NY, Times-Union today posted an article on timesunion.com applauding Dr. Arash Alaei’s release from prison and reunion with his brother, Dr. Kamiar Alaei, in Albany, where Dr. Kamiar is completing his doctoral dissertation in public health at the State University of New York at Albany.

World-Renowned HIV/AIDS Doctors Arrive in US

Doctors Kamiar and Arash Alaei arrival concludes 3-year campaign spearheaded by PHR

PHR today announced the arrival of prominent Iranian AIDS doctors Arash Alaei and Kamiar Alaei in the US following 3 years in prison in Tehran. During their imprisonment, PHR spearheaded a 3-year international campaign which called for their release and engaged hundreds of leading AIDS experts, virologists, and health organizations. In late 2010, Dr. Kamiar Alaei was released; Dr. Arash Alaei was released last month. Media Contact
Megan Prock
PHR Senior Press Officer
mprock [at] phrusa [dot] org
Tel: 617-301-4237
Cell: 617-510-3417

Drs. Arash and Kamiar Alaei were arrested in June 2008 and wrongfully convicted in January 2009 on charges of communicating with an enemy government. The Iranian government used the doctors’ travel to international AIDS conferences and meetings with colleagues in the United States as a basis for the charges.

“PHR, along with other members of the health and human rights community, has been working tirelessly to secure the release of Arash and Kamiar for more than three years,” said Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director of PHR. “Doctors and other health professionals all over the world often face persecution for simply doing their job, and PHR has a long history of advocating on behalf of these doctors for justice and accountability.”

PHR, together with other doctors and public health workers in dozens of countries around the world, organized Global Days of Action and contacted Iranian embassies to press for the release of the Alaei brothers. PHR organized the campaign to free the Alaeis and hosted iranfreethedocs.org, where supporters from around the world posted videos and messages of support.

“Knowing that PHR and its members were working on our behalf sustained us when all seemed lost,” said Dr. Kamiar Alaei. “PHR is the one organization that uses the expertise and voice of doctors such as Arash and me to help protect human rights around the world.”

In June, Dr. Kamiar Alaei accepted the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights on behalf of both brothers. In July, at the annual International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome, Dr. Kamiar Alaei spoke for the first time since his release about his work at a press conference hosted by PHR and International AIDS Society.


About Physicians for Human Rights

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent, non-profit organization that uses medical and scientific expertise to investigate human rights violations and advocate for justice, accountability, and the health and dignity of all people. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe:

  • 1988 – First to document Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Kurds
  • 1996 – Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans
  • 1996 – Produced critical forensic evidence of genocide in Rwanda
  • 1997 – Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 – Warned of health and human rights catastrophe prior to the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 – Documented and analyzed the genocide in Darfur
  • 2005 – Detailed the story of tortured detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay
  • 2010 – Presented the first evidence showing that CIA medical personnel engaged in human
    experimentation on prisoners in violation of the Nuremberg Code and other provisions

Dr. Arash is Freed!!

We are so happy to report that Dr. Arash Alaei has been released from Iran’s Evin Prison in Tehran. Arash’s brother, Dr. Kamiar Alaei says:

I want to thank everybody around the world who campaigned for the release of my brother and me. They did a wonderful job during the past three years, and without the support of Physicians for Human Rights and the Coalition to Free the Alaeis, it is highly likely we would not be celebrating Arash’s release today.

“Iranian AIDS doctors continued work behind bars”

Nature.com today posts an interview by Priya Shetty with Dr. Kamiar Alaei, given during the recent International AIDS Society meetings in Rome.

Excerpt:

Q) Did you ever think you would be in prison one day yourself?
A) Never. We never expected to be arrested. The worst scenario we imagined if the new government was not happy with our work was that they would tell us not to continue. We would then have asked them how they wanted us to implement or design our programmes. We would have adapted.

The interview highlights both the important work the Alaeis did prior to their detention, and the work they continued in prison. Please sign the petition to demand the release of Dr. Arash Alaei.

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