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For Immediate Release

Global Day of Action for the Alaeis on May 12

Cambridge, Mass - 05/11/2009

While the international community celebrates the release of detained US journalist Roxana Saberi, there is still continuing vigilance over the unjust imprisonments of Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei. These brothers are world-renowned Iranian HIV/AIDS physicians who were indicted in December by the Iranian government on charges of communicating with an "enemy government."

Physicians for Human Rights believes that treating AIDS is not a crime—it's good medicine. The Alaei brothers traveled the world to share Iran's model of HIV prevention and treatment, not to recruit people to foment a "velvet revolution," as alleged by the Iranian government. Such allegations hurt the future of public health and indicate a dangerous trend toward punishing health professionals for working in the US or having US citizenship.

People from more than 125 countries have been calling for the release of the Alaeis since their arrests. On May 12, Physicians for Human Rights and a coalition of organizations from more than 16 countries will hold a Global Day of Action calling on the Iranian government to drop the charges and immediately release Kamiar and Arash Alaei. Participants from around the world will make statements to Iranian authorities and join a live webcast of vigils and events on an interactive website—www.IranFreeTheDocs.org.

WHAT: Global Day of Action for the Alaeis

WHEN: Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WHERE:

The publicly-announced charges against the Alaeis are without credible foundation. The case is marked by clear violations of due process. It is an ominous sign of the Iranian government's crackdown on international scientific exchange, which could negatively impact public health in Iran. Iran has equated public health diplomacy with treason—a dangerous position in this era of global pandemics that requires open medical collaboration to save lives.

The Alaeis' first appeal was denied by Iranian courts in March. They are on their last appeal. For more information on the Alaeis and their case, visit IranFreeTheDocs.org.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. 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, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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