T he C omm i t t e e o f Concerned Scientists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science human rights and science program, and Scholars at Risk are deeply concerned over the fate of Masaud Jahromi, chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Ahlia University in Bahrain. (Jahromi earned a Ph.D. in telecommunication networking from University of Kent at Canterbury in the U.K.) Scholars at Risk, an independent non-profit organization affiliated with New York University, has learned Jahromi was arrested and taken from his home at 2:30 a.m., April 14, 2011, and first held in Al Galaa Prison, then transferred to the Dry Dock Prison, where he has been detained since the end of April. Contacts in Bahrain familiar with Jahromi’s situation, as received by Scholars at Risk, report the police broke into Jahromi’s house, threatened and harassed members of his family, confiscated the family’s laptops, and beat Jahromi before taking him away to an undisclosed location. He was then denied access to his family for more than a month. Reports also indicate Jahromi is not receiving medical treatment for serious, diagnosed conditions, including Hepatitis C. The nature of Jahromi’s arrest and subsequent detention without access to medical care and family suggests disregard for international standards of due process and fair trial and detention, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bahrain has acceded. Taking into account reported arrests of scholars in Bahrain following the pro-democracy protests in February and March, Jahromi’s detention further suggests a wider attempt to intimidate intellectuals and limit academic freedom in Bahrain. The Committee of Concerned Scientists (I am its Vice-Chair, Computer Science) urges Bahrain to uphold its obligations under international law with regard to Jahromi and intervene to ensure his well-being—including regular access to family, legal counsel of his choosing, and medical treatment—pending his earliest release. I urge my ACM colleagues to join our effort in advocating Jahromi’s scientific freedom and human rights. Please send letters of support to:
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