Cancer-stricken University of Texas grad student granted ‘conditional’ release from notorious Iran prison

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Iranian state media have reported that a jailed and ailing Iranian citizen who had been a graduate student in Texas has been released after more than five years in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.

PhD student Omid Kokabee.
PhD student Omid Kokabee.

The government-owned IRAN daily newspaper quoted the lawyer for Omid Kokabee as saying that the country’s judiciary had granted Kokabee “conditional freedom'” for the rest of his 10-year sentence.

The lawyer, Saeed Khalili, said Kokabee “will not return to prison anymore.”

Kokabee, who was studying optics in the physics department at the University of Texas, was arrested in February 2011 and convicted by the Iranian courts of having “relations with a hostile country” and receiving “illegitimate funds.”

He was released from jail in April 2016 to undergo medical tests on his kidneys.

The New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says Kokabee is now struggling with kidney cancer after being denied proper medical treatment for years by prison authorities.

From prison in 2013, Kokabee said in an open letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that he had been unjustly imprisoned because he refused to work with the Iranian intelligence services on a military research project.

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