March 26, 2015

News

Iran’s Support for Science Might
Open Way for Kokabee Pardon

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After a strong statement by Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani, a highly placed Iranian official, on the importance of science to the Islamic Republic, CCS requests his assistance in obtaining a pardon for Omid Kokabee. As we had before, we emphasize Kokabee's poor health in prison and the Iranian supreme court's assertion of his innocence.  … continue reading >>

Activist Jailed in China and Denied Access to Counsel

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Guo Yushan, a scholar and public intellectual who founded a public policy think tank in China, was arrested on January 3, 2014 for "operating an illegal business," although the government has not formally charged him with this crime. He was denied access to counsel for three months after his arrest, and his defense lawyer has also been detained. CCS urges President Xi Jinping to investigate  … continue reading >>

2014 Annual Report

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During 2014, the Committee of Concerned Scientists continued to advocate on behalf of scientists, academics, engineers and physicians. We wrote in concern for more than 30 individuals or groups of individuals, located in 11 countries. We generally addressed our letters to the heads of state, as well as to the ministries or local authorities with jurisdiction over the case when we were able to  … continue reading >>

Omid Kokabee Accepts AAAS Award with Letter from Iranian Prison

Omid Kokabee

Omid Kokabee was this year's winner of the prestigious 2014 Scientific Freedom & Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The award was presented on February 13 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California. "Given that Omid Kokabee could not be present because he’s in prison, the audience was very moved. I exaggerate only a little when I say  … continue reading >>

Bahrani Professor’s Abrupt Citizenship Revocation Violates Universal Human Rights Declaration

Masaud Jahromi

Bahrain's Interior Ministry revoked Dr. Masaud Jahromi's citizenship without notice or opportunity to respond, on grounds of "terrorist activities" or "advocating regime change through illegal means." OUR PREVIOUS ACTIVITIES The Jahromi Archive Jahromi, Chair of the Ahlia University's Computer Science Department, has never participated in either of these. CCS wrote protesting such arbitrary  … continue reading >>

Economist Co-founder of Human Rights Association Sentenced to 10 years for Sedition Against Saudi Arabia

By Mohammad Aziz [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mohammed al-Qathani, an economics professor calling for implementation of rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2013. CCS protested conviction based on peaceful expression of opinion and freedom of association and asked for his release. His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Ministry of the Interior P.O. Box  … continue reading >>

CCS Regrets the Death of Charles Townes

By National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB),  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Charles H. Townes, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work led to the development of the laser, died in Oakland, California on January 27, 2015 at the age of 99 after a long illness. He was a National Sponsor of the Committee of Concerned Scientists. Related articles Charles H. Townes, inventor of the laser, dies at 99 (pbs.org) UCF Mourns Nobel Laureate and Laser Pioneer Charles H.  … continue reading >>

Turkish Professor Received Two Year Sentence Over Headscarf Ban

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Dr. Rennan Pekunlu, a professor of astrophysics at Ege University in Turkey was sentenced to two years in jail over charges that he stopped students that were wearing headscarves from attending classes. Dr. Pekunlu denies the charges and says that he was only telling students that they were violating the ban on wearing headscarves at Universities. The ban was lifted in 2010. His lawyer, Fatih  … continue reading >>

Good News: Palestinian Astronomer Released

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Imad Barghouthi was released on Jan. 22, 2015, according to his lawyer, Jawad Boulos. Boulos said that at the hearing appealing the detention he presented the CCS letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu protesting Barghouthi's detention and that this had impressed the court. Barghouthi asked his lawyer to convey his gratitude to CCS. Related articles Israel's Detention of Palestinian Astronomer  … continue reading >>

Iranian Appeals Court Upholds
Kokabee’s Ten-year Sentence

Photo courtesy Ellen Hutchinson

In a surprising setback for efforts to free imprisoned Iranian physicist Omid Kokabee an appeals court in Iran rejected th opinion of its supreme court and reaffirmed his ten-year prison sentence. There was no explanation of this ruling and it is unclear whether Kokabee will be able to appeal. We will continue to advocate for Kokabee in spite of this disappointment. Related articles Young  … continue reading >>