The Middle East Studies Association, an organization of roughly 3,000 academics from around the world, joined the more than a dozen academic organizations asking for justice for SPIE Member Omid Kokabee, the University of Texas, Austin, The Daily Texan has reported. Kokabee was a physics doctoral student at the University of Texas at the time of his arrest in Iran in February 2011.
In a 3 January letter the organization's Committee on Academic Freedom asked Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for Kokabee's "immediate release," the newspaper reported.
Peter Sluglett, president of the Middle East Studies Association and professor at the Middle East Studies Institute within the National University of Singapore, said attention to Kokabee's situation is the best hope for his release at this time.
Read the full article in The Daily Texan.
Read the SPIE Newsroom article on a letter of support from SPIE and other optics and photonics societies.