Several senior international public health experts in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and harm reduction have released the following letter to the Iranian authorities on Kian’s arrest:
We write to express our grave concern about the arrest of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, a noted scholar and expert who has worked with international organizations including the Open Society Institute and the World Bank, as well as Iranian government ministries.
Dr. Tajbakhsh’s work included efforts to ensure that injection drug users gained access to HIV prevention, as well as assistance in monitoring rebuilding efforts in the city of Bam after it was decimated by an earthquake in 2003. These are humanitarian efforts in service of the Iranian people. We are dismayed by the baseless charges against Dr. Tajbakhsh.
Iran’s efforts to reduce HIV spread among drug users through services such as needle exchange and provision of methadone have been impressive. Dr. Tajbakhsh’s imprisonment, however, casts a shadow over these achievements. We urge you to effect Dr. Tajbakhsh’s immediate release.
Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, M.D.
Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
Mathilde Krim, Ph.D.
Founding Chairman, AmFar
The Foundation for AIDS Research
Prof. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, MD
Head of Infectious Diseases,
University of Malaya
Chris Beyrer, Ph.D.
Director, Johns Hopkins Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program and Professor of Epidemiology, International Health, and Health Behavior and Society
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Drugs & Democracy Programme