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Doctor Arash Alaei and Doctor Kamiar Alaei, two well-known Iranian physicians, brothers and HIV/AIDS leaders, were detained in June 2008 by Iranian authorities. After six months of detention without charges or trial, the brothers were tried as conspirators working with an “enemy government” to overthrow the government of Iran, and on unspecified other charges which neither they nor their lawyer were allowed to know, see the evidence of, or address. They were convicted of being in “communications with an enemy government” and “seeking to overthrow the Iranian government under article 508 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code”; Kamiar was sentenced to three years and Arash was sentenced to six.

The Alaeis’ crime: traveling the world and liaising with colleagues globally to find solutions to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Their travel to international AIDS conferences was used as a basis for this charge — a dangerous conflation of public health diplomacy with treason that harms Iran’s ability to be a worldwide medical leader and protect its people from disease and death.

PHR worked tirelessly, and ultimately successfully, with colleagues of the Alaeis, other human rights organizations, and other interested parties since their detention in 2008, to tell the Government of Iran to immediately release them and allow them to again take up their life-saving work.

World-Renowned HIV/AIDS Doctors Arrive in US (October 22, 2011)

Physicians for Human Rights (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 and Dr. Arash Alaei was released last month.

PHR Announces Global Day of Action for Dr. Arash Alaei (July 19, 2011)

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today announced a Global Day of Action for Dr. Arash Alaei during which health professionals, scientists and concerned citizens will appeal to the Iranian authorities for the immediate release of the internationally renowned HIV/AIDS doctor. During today’s Global Day of Action, PHR and its supporters will engage in a social media and viral campaign to call for the release of Dr. Arash Alaei from Iranian prison.

Freed Iranian Doctor Speaks Out On Behalf Of Imprisoned Brother (July 15, 2011)

On Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, PHR and International AIDS Society will convene a press conference in Rome, Italy, with recently released physician and AIDS program innovator, Dr. Kamiar Alaei. He will describe his pioneering AIDS work with his brother in Iran; discuss his experiences in prison between 2008 and 2011; and make a public appeal for the release of his imprisoned brother, Dr. Arash Alaei.

Congratulations to World-Renowned HIV/AIDS Doctors Alaei on Receipt of Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights (June 16, 2011)

PHR congratulates prominent Iranian AIDS doctors Kamiar and Arash Alaei on their receipt of the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights, and continues to call for the release of Arash from the Evin prison in Iran.

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Tech & Human Rights Blog Series: Bringing Low-Resourced Areas Out of Darkness (June 9, 2015)

Power cuts are a daily reality of working in low-resourced, conflict-affected countries like the DRC, and are only one of many such hurdles. These challenges are not insurmountable.

Join PHR as Released Iranian AIDS Doctors Share their Story (November 2, 2011)

Doctors Kamiar and Arash Alaei will speak together on November 9 at the National Press Club in Washington DC to talk about their imprisonment, their AIDS work, and their joy at being reunited. Join us! To RSVP: email

Iran’s Barbaric Execution of Three Gay Men Signals Dangerous Direction (September 12, 2011)

Two weeks ago, Iran executed three men because they were gay. Iranian authorities rarely admit executing prisoners on the basis of sexuality – typically they are killed on trumped-up charges like kidnapping or burglary – but here the men were explicitly charged with the crime of intercourse between men.

Dr. Arash is Freed! (August 29, 2011)

We are so happy to report that Dr. Arash Alaei has been released from Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran.

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PHR Appeals for Release of Imprisoned Iranian Doctor (March 2017)

PHR sent this letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran expressing our deep concern over the imprisonment of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali on false charges.

Letter to Iranian Authorities Concerning the Suspicious Death of Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani (November 2009)

Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called on the Iranian authorities to allow for an independent investigation into the suspicious death of Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani, who may have been witness to the possible ill treatment, torture, and deaths of prisoners at Kahrizak detention center...

Medical Leaders Call for Justice for Iranian Doctors (July 2008)

In partership/conjunction with PHR and the HIV Medical Association, sixteen top US medical experts have written a letter to the Minister of Health in Iran urging the government to respect the basic human rights of Doctor Arash Alaei and his brother, Doctor Kamair Alaei, who were taken into custody by Iranian authorities in late June and are being held incommunicado.

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