In a repeat of the arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of Omid Kokabee, Hamid Babaei, an industrial engineering student in Belgium, was arrested as he attempted to return to his studies at the University of Liege. He was sentenced to six years in prison for communicating with a hostile government, apparently on the basis of his scholarship funding.
CCS wrote to protest this charge, that Babaei denies, and to urge dismissal of the charges.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
c/o H.E. Mohammad Khazaee
Ambassador of Iran to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue
New York NY 10017
April 14, 2014
We write to you now in support of Mr. Hamid Babaei, an industrial engineering student from Iran University of Science and Technology who is in the process of completing a doctoral degree in Finance at the University of Liege in Belgium. On December 21, 2013, Mr. Babaei was sentenced to six years in prison for allegedly acting against national security.
We are writing to you because we understand that the alleged basis of this charge is the scholarship funding which Mr. Babaei received to complete his graduate studies from the University of Liege in Belgium. Reports indicate that Mr. Babaei was arrested in August 2013 after attempting to return to Belgium from a summer visit in Iran. He spent four months in detention, including three weeks of solitary confinement, and was sentenced to six years in prison for being a threat to national security, for communicating with a hostile government. Mr. Babaei was unsuccessfully pressured to make a false confession, and has repeatedly denied the charges against him.
Mr. Babaei’s sudden arrest without clear public explanation, his prolonged detention, and his conviction without substantial evidence, suggest a troubling disregard of international standards of due process, fair trial and detention, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory.
Therefore, we urge you to investigate the circumstances of this case and thoroughly address the conduct of the prosecutors and local authorities involved in convicting Babaei of acting against Iran’s national security by accepting a fellowship from a Belgian university. Absent any other basis for his conviction, we urge you to release him and allow his to return to his studies, as a clear and firm demonstration of Iran’s commitment to academic freedom, as well as justice.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz
Paul H. Plotz
Eugene M. Chudnovsky
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani.
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazay
Pasteur St. Vali Asr. Ave. (south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
- Hamid Babaei Jailed For NOT Spying (shadow-diplomacy.com)
- Convicted of Spying for Refusing to Spy (vocativ.com)
- Iran: Student jailed after refusal to spy: Hamid Babaei (amnesty.org)