Several Nobel Laureates and distinguished academics in a letter have urged the United Nations to intervene for the release of two top university students imprisoned in Iran.
Ali Younesi and Amirhossein Moradi who are only 21 years old, have been held in harsh conditions of the notorious 209 section of the Evin prison since April 2020 for alleged political activities.
In the letter addressed to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the scholars called on the UN to make every effort to ensure that political prisoners in Iran, particularly the two students, are released immediately.
The signatories said both award-winning students have been suffering physical and mental torture and other ill-treatment, including forced confessions.
Laureates Barry Barish, David Wineland, Randy Schekman, Richard Roberts, Martin Chalfie as well as MIT professor Noam Chomsky are among the signatories.
In May 2021, more than 170 professors and students of Sharif University wrote a letter to the Iranian authorities demanding the release of the two, while Amnesty International has released two calls for “Urgent Action” over their case.
Younesi, who was the winner of the gold medal in the International Astronomy Olympiad in 2018 in China, was arrested in April 2020 along with Moradi, another award-winning physics student at Sharif University. They are charged with “corruption on earth”, which is punishable by death in Iran.