MEK Iran: Nobel Laureates and Academics Sign a Letter to the UN Urging Elite Students to be Released
Nobel laureates and distinguished scholars have urged UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Michelle Bachelet to make every effort to ensure the immediate release of Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi, two Sharif University students who have been arbitrarily detained in Iran since April 10, 2020.
Ali Younesi, a computer student at Sharif University, Tehran
Iran Human Rights expressed grave concern on December 24, 2021, about the impending heavy and baseless sentences against Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi, who have been held in pre-trial detention since their arrests in April 2020. Their case was heard at Branch 29 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court on Tuesday, January 25. On 10 April 2020, Ali Younesi, a computer engineering student at Sharif University of Technology, and Amir Hossein Moradi, a physics student at the university, were arrested without a legal summons and held in solitary confinement for two months before being transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence’s (MOIS) Ward 209 in Evin Prison.
Ali Younesi won silver and gold at the National Astronomy Olympiad in 2016 and 2017, respectively, while still in high school. He won the gold medal with the Iranian national team at the 2018 World Astronomy Olympiad in China during his senior year of high school. At the 2017 Iranian Astronomy Olympiad, Amir Hossein Moradi took silver. Their tortured confessions were broadcast on the state-run Fars news agency, which is associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, in December 2021, increasing fears about the impending harsh penalties for the two teenagers.
The letter, dated January 18, begins as follows:
“We, the Nobel Laureates and distinguished academics signing this statement would like to join those other scholars calling for the immediate release of the students Ali Younesi and AmirHossein Moradi who have been arbitrarily imprisoned since April 10, 2020. The two men, both aged 20 at the time of their arrest, were students of the prestigious Sharif University of Technology (SUT) in Tehran.“Since their arrests, both students have suffered physical and mental torture and other ill-treatment including forced confessions.“One hundred and seventy-four professors and directors of various departments at SUT wrote a letter in May 2021 to the Iranian authorities demanding the release of the two students.
More importantly, the majority of the students of SUT have, on various occasions, expressed their serious concerns on the conditions of the detentions of their two fellow students.“Amnesty International released two calls for ‘Urgent Action’ on November 22, 2021; May 12, 2020, and addressed to the Iranian authorities.“Please find enclosed a brief note on the outstanding educational background of these two students who, despite their youth, have won several medals at national and international competitions, including the Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad.
“We urge you to use your good offices in making every effort to ensure that political prisoners in Iran, particularly the two students Ali Younesi and AmirHossein Moradi, are released immediately.
“We would sincerely appreciate your valuable efforts in defending the core values of human rights values.