Iranian Court Upholds Prison Sentences for Physicians Who Addressed HIV/AIDS
An Iranian appeals court recently upheld the sentence for Iranian physicians Arash Alaei and Kamiar Alaei, brothers who implemented Iran's first HIV/AIDS prevention program, Masoud Shafii, an attorney for the Alaeis, said Tuesday, AFP/Qatar Tribune reports. Arash and Kamiar Alaei in January received prison sentences of six and three years, respectively, for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.
According to Shafii, the appeals court confirmed the sentences during "an extraordinary session on March 18." He added that despite a large volume of documents, the court reached a verdict very quickly. "It should have taken much longer to study in detail the arguments against the verdict," Shafii said, adding that upholding the sentences "can't be an appropriate decision." Shafii said he intends to submit another appeal to Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi. "I am somehow sure that the verdict will change," he said.
According to AFP/Qatar Tribune, Iran in January announced that it had dismantled a U.S.-funded network to overthrow the Iranian government through social upheaval. The country alleged that the Alaeis had participated in the network along with two other suspects (AFP/Qatar Tribune, 4/7).