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29 March 2020 - 08:46
News ID: 449797
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the US for taking several Iranian scientists hostage at the time of COVID-19 and refusing to grant them medical leave even during the coronavirus outbreak.

RNA - The US has taken several Iranian scientists hostage—without charge or on spurious sanctions charges—& not releasing them," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Friday.

"Even when its OWN courts reject the absurd charges the US even refuses medical furlough—amid #covid19—for innocent men jailed in horrific facilities. Release our men,"  Zarif tweeted on Friday.

Dr. Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist who was exonerated in a US sanctions trial but remains jailed by immigration authorities said the conditions in detention were filthy and overcrowded – and officials were doing little to prevent a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Sirous Asgari, a materials science and engineering professor, was acquitted in November on federal charges of stealing trade secrets related to his academic work with a university in Ohio.

Although the US government lost its case on all charges, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has kept Dr. Asgari indefinitely detained since the trial. Now he’s speaking out about the “inhumane” treatment that could cost him his life.

Asgari, 59, told the Guardian that his ICE holding facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, had no basic cleaning practices in place and continued to bring in new detainees from across the country with no strategy to minimize the threat of COVID-19.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 197 countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 27,300 people and infected over 597,000 others globally.



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