Albany Student Detained in Iran; Five Injured Near Obama’s Jerusalem Hotel; Nine Face Stoning in Iran

By Ben Turner
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

TEHRAN, Iran – A University of Albany public health student and as his brother have been arrested by Iranian security.  Kamiar Alaei is enrolled in Albany’s doctorate public health program and is known internationally for his work with HIV/AIDS prevention.

On June 22, security forces detained Kamiar’s brother, Arash Alaei, and held him overnight at an undisclosed location.  The next morning, the security forces escorted him to his home where they arrested Kamiar and seized documents and materials belonging to the brothers.

The Iranian government has yet to announce why the brothers were detained or whether any charges will be brought against them.  According to Human Rights Watch, the authorities have also not provided the brothers with access to counsel.

The brothers are credited with convincing the Iranian government of confronting HIV/AIDS prevention.  The accomplishment is that much more remarkable given Iran’s reputation for considering such topics as sex, drugs and the HIV/AIDS disease as taboo subjects.

For more information, please see:

BBC – Iran Urged to Free HIV Pioneers – 22 July 2008

Times Union – UAlbany Student Detained in Iran – 22 July 2008

Human Rights News – Iran: Release Detained HIV/AIDS Experts – 21 July 2008


JERUSALEM, Israel – In July 22, a man driving a bulldozer went on a rampage, ramming his construction vehicle into several cars and buses near the hotel where U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled to stay later that day.

Eleven people were injured in the attack, including one serious injury.  The man, whom police have identified as a 22-year-old Palestinian with a criminal record, smashed into cars until a civilian witness and police shot and killed the bulldozer driver.  Police described the incident as a terrorist attack.

This is the second bulldozer attack in Jerusalem this month.  On July 2, a Palestinian construction worker rammed his vehicle into several cars.  Three people were killed before police shot and killed him.

Obama, who is scheduled to stay at the hotel tonight, strongly condemned the attack.

For more information, please see:
CNN – Attack Injures 5 Near Obama’s Jerusalem Hotel – 22 July 2008

Reuters – Bulldozer Attack Driver Shot Dead in Jerusalem – 22 July 2008


TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian courts have sentenced eight woman and one man to death by stoning for adultery and other sexual offenses, including prostitution, incest and illegal sex with a student.  Now that the verdict has been rendered, the group can be executed at any time.

Six of the nine were convicted without any witnesses testifying against them and without the presence of lawyers during their confessions.  The group’s lawyers have called on Iran’s judiciary to prevent the stonings from being carried out.

In 2002, Iranian judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi imposed a moratorium on stoning.  However, at least three executions by stoning have been reported since the moratorium has been in place.

Under Iran’s strict penal code, men convicted of adultery should be buried up to their waists and women up to their chests for stoning. Those carrying out the verdict then throw stones until the condemned dies.  Iran’s penal law dictates that the stones used not be large enough to kill the person immediately.

For more information, please see:
Guardian – Eight Women and a Man Face Stoning in Iran for Adultery – 21 July 2008

Associated Press – Activists: Iranians to be Stoned to Death – 20 July 2008

BBC – Nine Face Stoning Death in Iran – 20 July 2008

Author: Impunity Watch Archive