Iran Detains Another Iranian British Citizen, Computer Scientist and Antiwar Activist Abbas Edalat
April 25, 2018—Abbas Edalat, an Iranian British academic and antiwar activist based in London, has been detained in Iran since April 15, 2018, after being arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“Iran’s continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and lack of due process is extremely concerning,” said the Center for Human Rights in Iran’s (CHRI’s) Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi.
“The Iranian judiciary and the security establishment, particularly the Revolutionary Guards, are responsible for the well being of these detainees,” added Ghaemi.
According to a verified source with direct knowledge of the case, Edalat refused to post bail on April 25, arguing that he is an innocent man and should be released unconditionally and cleared of any charges.
Edalat’s family posted bail for him on April 21 but the Revolutionary Court in Tehran claimed there was a problem with the documentation and ordered them to restart the process on April 25. He remains detained as of today.
The source told CHRI that the IRGC raided Edalat’s home in Tehran and confiscated his belongings, including his computer, CDs and notebooks.
Edalat, a professor of computer science and mathematics at the Imperial College in London, had traveled to Iran from his home in London at an unknown date to attend an academic workshop.
In April 2017, Edalat was awarded the Imperial College of London’s LICS 2017 Test-of-Time Award for a computer science paper he had co-authored with another academic.
Three months earlier, Edalat had told a university-focused website that he had stopped submitting research papers to US conferences after US President Donald Trump issued a travel ban on mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.
Edalat is the founder of the US-based Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), an advocacy group that strongly opposes foreign intervention in Iran. In previous years he had authored several opinion pieces on the issue.
At least two other Iranian British dual nationals, Kamal Foroughi and Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, have been imprisoned in Iran since 2011 and 2016 respectively after being arrested by the IRGC.
They are both eligible for release.
The IRGC has arrested at least 30 dual nationals since the signing of the Iranian nuclear deal in July 2015.
*This article was updated on April 25, 2018, to add that Edalat refused to post bail on April 25, arguing that he is innocent and should be cleared of any charges. It was also revised to reflect that the first name of another Iranian British citizen imprisoned in Iran is Kamal, not Kamran.