February 3, 2009 Their Crime? Collaborating With Other Scientists. . .
Posted by Derek
Nature is rightfully drawing attention to the case of Arash and Kamiar Alaei, physicians (and brothers) from Iran, who have been sentenced to years in prison for supposedly “communicating with an enemy government”. Their real crime seems to have been attending international conferences, talking about HIV as a public health problem in Iran, and doing so alongside representatives of US-based groups.
As the journal points out in an open letter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been traveling around telling everyone about how wonderful scientific collaboration is. Watch their hands, not their lips, though. My sympathies go out to the Alaei brothers, along my hopes that international pressure might secure their release or make their appeals successful.