Monday, August 04, 2008

Pioneering HIV/AIDS Doctors charged with fomenting revolution

Hamid Tehrani at Global Voices is asking why Iranian bloggers are not speaking out about the arrest of two prominent AIDS physicians:

As the XVIII International Aids Conference started on August 3 in Mexico, two internationally recognized Iranian HIV/AIDS specialists who were supposed to attend the meeting, are being held in prison accused of planning to overthrow the Iranian state.

The two physicians, Kamira and Arash Alaie, are brothers, and have pioneered educational and harm reduction campaigns among drug users, prostitutes, and prison inmates in Iran and throughout the Middle East. They were arrested last month, and have had no legal representation.

I don't know enough to comment. I remember that when I was in Iran it was very difficult to get information in the first place. I also know that despite the fact that Iran has an active AIDS prevention policy, many see the disease as a punishment for sinful behavior. Despite the fact that the society is extremely homosocial, Iranians are homophobic. I have to say, that I hope that it's simply a matter of not knowing rather than not caring.

Kamin Mohammadi has a post about the two doctors up at Arabisto.

Kamin writes:
I cannot imagine that my friend and his brother, who have devoted their lives to helping the people of our country, could pose any possible threat to it. I cannot speak for the Islamic Republic's motives nor can I pretend to have any intimate knowledge of the brothers' activities. But I think the sterling work of the Alaei brothers should be able to speak for itself.

Both she and Tehrani link to this online petition and you can join this campaign over at Facebook.

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