Concern for Imprisoned Iranian Chemist

December 22, 2015

The Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom published a letter of concern Monday regarding the imprisonment of Mohammad Hossein Rafiee, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Tehran, who has been held in Iran’s Evin Prison since June. According to the letter, Rafiee was accused of “spreading propaganda against the regime” and sentenced to six years in prison.

“To this day Professor Rafiee has not been informed of the specific details of his alleged crime,” the committee’s letter states. “His family suspects that the arrest is connected to his membership in the opposition party Melli Mazhabi, as well as to the 120-page letter which he sent to President [Hassan] Rouhani in 2014, in which he expressed his support for Iran’s nuclear agreement with the United States. In this letter, he also called for the release of political prisoners, free and fair elections, and an improvement of the human rights situation in Iran.”

The American Chemical Society and the Committee of Concerned Scientists wrote letters of concern on Rafiee’s behalf in July.

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