A professor from Imperial College London is believed to have been detained in Iran last week.
Professor Abbas Edalat, who is based at Imperial’s Department of Computing, was arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on the 15th April, according to a human rights group.
The Centre for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), a US-based non-profit, reported Professor Edalat refused to post bail this Wednesday, leading to him being taken into custody. A source told the CGHI Professor Edalat’s home was raided, and his belongings seized.
The Foreign Office this week stated they were “urgently seeking information from the Iranian authorities” about Professor Edalat.
In a statement, the College said: “We are understandably concerned for his welfare following reports of his arrest, and we are urgently seeking further information.”
“Professor Edalat is one of a number of high-profile arrests of dual nationals”
Professor Edalat is believed to have been in Iran to attend an academic workshop.
As well as his academic career, Professor Edalat is the founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), which campaigns against foreign interventions in Iran. He previously told Times Higher Education he would not be submitting research papers to US-based conferences in protest to President Donald Trump’s restrictions on vias.
Professor Edalat is one of a number of high-profile arrests of Iranian dual nationals. Since 2015, the Revolutionary Guards have arrested 30 dual nationals; the majority have been accused of espionage. Earlier this year Dr Kaveh Madani, a Reader at Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy, was detained for 72 hours in Iran. Dr Madani had been made Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Environment last year, a position from which he resigned last week.
Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the CHRI, said of the arrest: “Iran’s continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and lack of due process is extremely concerning.” The International Observatory of Human Rights accused the Iranian government of using dual-nationals as “bargaining chips in Tehran’s ongoing negotiations with the West.”