In his letter Kokabee describes the pressures and tortures he was under in prison to give false confession and asks the Judiciary Chief for a fair and just trial in his case.
Omid Kokabi was arrested February 2011 when he was about to return to United States and has been held in Evin Prison ever since. He was kept under pressure and torture in solitary confinement for over a month before being moved to Evin ward 350.
Dr. Omid Kokabee received his Bachelor’s degree from Sharif University in Tehran. He obtained his Masters degree in Germany and his PHD from Polytechnic University in Barcelona, Spain. In 2010 he received a full scholarship from the University of Texas where he went to study for his post-doctoral degree.
When Omid was arrested, they charged him with “Cooperation with an enemy state” and “earning income through Illicit means”.
In his letter to the Judiciary Chief, Omid Kokabi challenges the legality of his arrest and detention, talks about the tortures and pressures utilized by the interrogators to obtain a coerced false confession.
Omid writes, “there were repeated threats to arrest my university instructors that invited me to Iran for joint scientific and research work.
Repeated threats to turn me over to other interrogators that would employ harsher and stricter methods of beatings, imposition of more limitations on the use of bathroom facilities, cutting off all food services and banning all contacts with the outside world.
I was told repeatedly that my father was in poor health due to an open heart surgery. I was told he had suffered a heart attack because of my arrest and was in a hospital in very poor health. They told me they will keep me in solitary confinement, banned from any contacts with my family, and that I won’t be able to see my father again.
They mentioned my sister’s heart condition and said, her health has deteriorated because she has been under a lot of pressure from pursuing my case.
The interrogators knew very well my love and devotion for my family, particularly for my Father and Mother. My parents, despite being from a financially disadvantaged class and on only a teachers income and no additional income, have raised 9 children, all including myself to the highest academic and scientific levels of education.
They knew that it would put me under heavy pressure to accept their conditions by telling me that my parent’s illness and hospitalization is due to their worries for me being in solitary confinement. The only thing that I could think about was to be able to find out about my parent’s status and to be with them.
My first phone contact with my family was 24 days after my arrest and after having been under heavy psychological pressure and maneuvering by the interrogators, a call that lasted for two minutes only.
Later, I realized my interrogations became shorter with less pressure, threats and intimidation when I would write down what the interrogators wanted to hear.
Therefore I reached the conclusion that I should start writing down things that were more satisfactory to the interrogators and to write what they dictated to me. At the time, I did not think about or understand what the consequences of this action might be later.
At times, they threatened me with execution, saying that they could obtain an execution verdict from the Judiciary with no problem.
They told me if I would write down what they dictated, that my interrogation sessions would end within 2-3 days and I would be set free to go and see my family.
I also have to mention the methods they used in writing down my interrogation papers. They would either ask a question with an expected answer or would dictate to me what to write. However, they would ask me to leave couple of lines blank above my answers.
I don’t know what they later wrote in the blank spaces. I don’t know if they wrote anything that would be incriminating or used to bring up charges.”
Omid continues with explaining how the interrogators wanted him to write down and list all of his travels related to his studies and research, details of his research projects, what embassies did he visit and the name of the people he met in those embassies.
In particular they wanted the names of people he met and interviewed with at the American Embassy, insisting that those in the American Embassy were not regular employees but were Intelligence agents.
They accused him of speaking to American Intelligence agents. They even went further and accused many of his professors as American agents also. They interrogated him about his expenses, his scholarships and grants.
Omid continues, “Mr. Larijani, I still don’t know the real reason for my arrest.” He stresses, neither he nor his family are involved in politics and does not understand why he has been arrested.
Further on, Omid talks about how easy it becomes to succumb to the pressures and tactics used by the interrogators and to give in and confess to anything they want and even to make up things to please them.
Omid urges Mr. Larijani to allow him a fair trial considering all the illegal acts and violations in his case.
Omid Kokabi’s attorney, Saeid Khalili In a recent interview with Jaras also complained about not being allowed to visit his client so far.
Mr. Khalili told Jaras that he has made repeated attempts to see his client to prepare for his defense, but has not yet been able to obtain Tehran Prosecutor General’s permission.
Khalili says, “How can I defend my client in court properly without being able to see him and talk with him prior to his trial”. Khalili said he has also written to Judiciary Chief and has asked for his help and intervention in this case.