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Lasers & Sources

SPIE member Omid Kokabee released on bail from Iranian prison after cancer surgery

SPIE Newsroom
25 May 2016

Omid KokabeeImprisoned Iranian laser scientist Omid Kokabee, who recently had surgery to remove a cancerous kidney, has been released on bail to recuperate, according to a report in Nature

Amnesty International has publicized Kokabee's case, calling for a letter-writing campaign to request his release.

In September 2014, 18 Physics Nobel laureates signed an open letter addressed to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, calling for Kokabee's release. While in prison, Kokabee was awarded the 2013 Andrei Sakharov Prize by the American Physical Society for "his courage in refusing to use his physics knowledge to work on projects that he deemed harmful to humanity." In 2014, the American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded him its 2014 Freedom and Responsibility Award.

According to Nature, Kokabee's furlough is expected to last "for one to three months after his friends posted a bail of 5 billion Iranian rials (US$165,000)."