Updated: Mar 12
Imprisoned Iranian laser scientist Omid Kokabee, who was on brief medical leave to recuperate from kidney-cancer surgery, has been released on parole, according to BBC Persian.
The 34-year-old had a kidney removed at Sina Hospital in Tehran on April 20–news that sparked outrage among human rights groups, who claim that his worsening condition is due to lack of medical treatment. After the surgery, Kokabee was granted a brief medical leave to recover.
Officially, the medical leave was to be renewed every two weeks, but Kokabee’s lawyers informed BBC that on August 27, Kokabee was recommended for release on parole by the court of appeal. The court decision has been made by appealing to an article of Iran’s penal code that permits the postponement of a jail sentence that may harm a prisoner’s health.
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.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide welcomes the news of Omid Kokabee's release.