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Iran: Two Leading HIV/Aids physicians remain in prison

Global Voices reported in August that Drs. Arash and Kamyar Alaei, two internationally renowned Iranian HIV/Aids specialists have been jailed in Tehran since June.

Unfortunately, they are still in prison and have had no legal representation. The Alaei brothers stand accused of planning to overthrow the Iranian government.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) organized a demonstration in support of freeing the brothers while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended UN General Assembly in New York last week.

Susannah Sirkin, PHR’s Deputy Director of International Policy and Advocacy, said during this meeting:

Today, our colleagues, Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei, are sitting in a prison cell in Tehran. These young physicians have helped organize clinics for injecting drug users and sex workers, and have developed, supported and promoted an enlightened public health approach to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS within these most vulnerable and stigmatized groups in their home province of Kermanshah. They advised the Iranian Ministry of Health, helped secure funds for the government’s HIV/AIDS programs, trained health workers in Iran, and neighboring countries — areas with the highest rates of injecting drug addicts in the world.

Iranian blogger, Ahvaz, says , “These two brothers have been at the forefront of AIDS awareness in Iran and the region.” The blogger adds, “Please watch this video of Dr. Kamyar Alaei to get an idea about what they have done for Iran.” In this video, Kamyar explains what interested him in fighting against Aids.

An Iranian in Exile writes that the two brothers present no threat to the Iranian government and that they have collaborated with both the religious and political government.

Trout, an American friend of the Alaies, has created a support group for the brothers on Facebook, where nearly 600 people have become members.

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