Boris Altshuler, physicist and chairman of the NGO “Right of the Child”, who won the 2013 Sakharov human rights prize together with Omid Kokabee, addressed a letter to President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, suggesting that he appeal to Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, requesting Omid Kokabee’s release from prison so that the latter can pursue his studies at the University of Texas.
17 January 2014
To President of the Russian Federation
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich !
In Autumn 2013 American Physical Society awarded me the Andrei Sakharov Prize “For the long struggle for democracy in Russia and work to protect the rights of children”, shared with the Iranian physicist Omid Kokabee, who is in detention since January 2011. 32-year old Omid is a brilliant specialist in quantum optics, in 2007-2010 he worked in Spain, then he worked on a dissertation at the University of Texas in the United States. He was arrested during a visit to his parents in Tehran, accused of “relations with a hostile government” and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Omid Kokabee was always infinitely far from any policy. Injustice of this situation was a shock for the global scientific community and not only for it. Organization Amnesty International announced Omid Kokabee Prisoner of Conscience.
Currently there is an encouraging mutual softening of tension in relations between Iran and the international community, in a particularly fruitful way is developing the interstate cooperation of the Russian Federation and Iran. I ask you to apply to your colleague Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a request to release Omid Kokabee and to permit him to return to scientific work at the University of Texas.
Andrei Sakharov in his Nobel lecture in 1975 clearly showed that observation of human rights is the foundation of international security. The release of Omid Kokabee would be the most important step of goodwill on the part of Iran. The positive role of the Russian Federation on this issue will also be greeted with a huge understanding and approval .
Chairman of the Board of the NGO “Right of the Child”
Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation
Member of the Moscow Helsinki Group
4 Louchnikov Lane, Entr. 3, off. 6 , Moscow, 103982, Russia
NGO “Right of the Child”