His Excellency Ban-Ki Moon
Secretary General of United Nations
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017
Re: International Campaign for the Immediate Release of Omid Kokabi from Prison in Iran
I join my fellow compatriots in urging the international community to support our campaign for the immediate release of Omid Kokabi, a PhD student and experimental laser physicist at the University of Texas, from prison in Iran. We urge you to intervene and to secure his release. Omid Kokabi’s health has been deteriorating since his arrest in January 2011 under unfounded allegations of ‘gathering and colluding against national security’, ‘communicating with a hostile government’, and ‘illegitimate/illegal earnings’. Although Kokabi has been acquitted from the primary charges, he has nevertheless been sentenced to ten years in prison. Kokabi was recently diagnosed with cancer and is now fighting for his life without access to adequate medical treatment.
Over the past five years, Kokabi, a Sunni Muslim and a member of the Turkmen ethnic community, has endured arbitrary imprisonment, experienced religious and ethnic discrimination, and has been denied access to his lawyer or a fair trial. Kokabi rejected the allegations in a letter to the head of the judiciary of the Islamic Republic in July 2011, stating that his confession was obtained through torture and while incarcerated and in solitary confinement for thirty six days. As you are well aware, the theocratic regime in Iran defies international human rights standards, and there remain countless prisoners of conscience who are victims of arbitrary arrest, torture and execution.
We appeal to the freedom loving people around the world to demand that the Islamic Republic respect the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Iran has long been a signatory.
Iranians from a diverse political spectrum find the ongoing humans rights violations in their beloved homeland appalling and unacceptable. Guided by our strong belief in humanism and secularism, the Iran National Council denounces the despicable ongoing human rights violations committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the name of religion. This vision would certainly be realized with the moral support of the international community for the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience.
I thank you sincerely for your consideration and offer my unconditional assistance on this urgent matter.
President of the National Council of Iran for Free Elections
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Dr. Ahmed Shaheed,
UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Mr. Seong-Phil Hong,
Chair-Rapporteur, The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Mr Salil Shetty,
Secretary General of the Amnesty International,