Agence France Presse (08.29.11) - Monday, August 29, 2011
On Monday, the second of two brothers known for their HIV work
in Iran was released from a Tehran jail. Arash Alaei and his
brother Kamiar were arrested in June 2008 for allegedly
conspiring against the regime of President Ahmadinejad. Arash
ultimately served nearly three years of his six-year sentence.
"He was among 100 Iranian political prisoners who got a pardon
today due to the coming end of the Ramadan religious holiday,
Eid al-Fitr," said Kamiar, who was freed earlier this year
after an 870-day stint. On his Facebook webpage, Kamiar
thanked friends, family and colleagues for their "tireless
help and support." He is currently pursuing a doctorate in
public health in Albany, N.Y.
In the late 1990s, the two physicians developed a best-
practices model of treatment, prevention, and care for HIV
patients, starting at a prison in their hometown of
Kermanshah. The brothers are recognized for their pioneering
work with HIV-positive injection drug users.
Physicians for Human Rights helped organize a letter-writing
campaign in 80 countries to appeal for the brothers' release.
Arash is now with his mother at the family's home in Tehran,
Kamiar said. "He is happy since his other political cellmates
got released, too," he added.