Jailed Iranian student demands fair trial

Iranian post-graduate student Omid Kokabi has written to the head of Iran’s judiciary to protest his five-month imprisonment and coerced interrogations, and to demand a fair chance to defend himself, Kaleme reports.

Kokabi is soon to be brought to trial; however, his attorney has also written to the head of the judiciary to declare that he has had no access to his client and, therefore, has no idea how the trial will be carried out.

Kokabi is a post-graduate student of nuclear physics at Texas University. He was arrested last February when he was about to return to the U.S. and has been held in Evin Prison ever since.

Parleman News reports that Saeed Khalili, the jailed student’s attorney, commented on the head of the judiciary’s dissatisfaction with defence attorneys who give media interviews, saying: “Against all this lawlessness and trampling of the prisoner’s basic rights and official indifference and unaccountability, lawyers have no other choice but to give interviews and inform the public, and they should not be reproached for doing so.”

Kokabi writes that he was arrested “for the astounding charge of assembly and collusion against national security and was held in solitary confinement for 36 days.”

He stresses that he challenges the legality of the arrest and the interrogations and insists that he was coerced into signing false confessions.

He writes that his interrogators, for example, would make him write down details of individuals he had seen in embassies or at conferences, telling him that some of these people were CIA operatives.

He concludes that since neither he nor his family is involved in politics, he does not understand why he has been arrested and urges the head of the judiciary to allow him a fair trial.



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