Iran: Activists ask UN for help in releasing scientist

By Mustafa Melih Ahishali

TEHRAN (AA) – Sixteen thousands international human rights activists, including Iranian nationals, sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanding the release of a physicist who has been detained in Iran, according to the reformists-leaning Sahmnews news website.

According to the letter, 34-year-old Umit Kokebi, a PhD student at Texas University in the U.S., went to Iran in 2011, but was not allowed to leave.

He was later sentenced to 10 years in prison, because he refused to work for the Iranian government in its projects.

Iran accuses him of having connections with foreign universities and scientific centers.

The activists, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Lawyer Shirin Ebadi, demanded Kobeki’s release, describing his detention as “unfair”.