The US national news is all about American journalist Roxana Saberi who has received an 8 year sentence in an Iranian prison for who knows what. There are plenty of places to read about it (CNN here). There aren’t that many places to read about another Iranian miscarriage of justice affecting scientists and doctors, the Alaei brothers:
An Iranian appellate court rejected the appeal of Dr. Kamiar Alaei, an internationally recognized AIDS physician and doctoral student in the University at Albany’s School of Public Health.
Alaei and his older brother, Dr. Arash Alaei, also an AIDS doctor, have been held since last June in Tehran’s Evin prison, where conditions have been described as grim and where they’ve been in solitary confinement for more than two months.
Kamiar and Arash Alaei were sentenced to three and six years respectively on charges of plotting to overthrow the government after an unorthodox, one-day, secret army trial in December. Their appeal was rejected last month after just one day, despite extensive legal documents filed by attorney Masoud Shafie. He has argued that the charges are baseless and the brothers were denied due process. (Paul Grondahl, Albany Times Union; hat tip DemFromCT)
Meanwhile we can expect a lot of breastbeating and outraged statements about Iran’s outrageous behavior from American media and officials. Iran deserves to be condemned. How can anyone have respect for a government that acts like this? But for the very same reasons, much of the American media and certainly the American government have no moral standing when it comes to condemning others for holding people without charge or trial. At least we have been consistent here in condemning Gitmo, torture and extraordinary rendition, whoever does it. It’s not too cynical to say that if these things were being done by our allies (and they are), the US and American media would look the other way (because they do). It’s also probably too much to expect Americans who are outraged by what is happening to Roxana Saberi to realize they are looking in the mirror.
Because they are.