Video: Freed AIDS/HIV Doctors Reflect on Iran Captivity

Iranian doctors Arash and Kamiar Alaei discuss their time in captivity in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. (3 min., 23 sec.)


Iranian doctors and brothers Arash and Kamiar Alaei, participants in Asia Society's Asia 21 Young Leaders Program, visited Asia Society on Tuesday to discuss their time in captivity in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

The brothers were arrested in June 2008, and charged with "communication with an enemy government" and for trying to "overthrow the government."

They were held in long stretches in solitary confinement solely because of their medical work to help victims of HIV/AIDS in Iran. (See an Asia Society press release from 2008 here.)

The Alaei brothers said what helped them endure their time in captivity was the thought that people and organizations were fighting for their release. "When we were in prison we thought we were forgotten, but we realized we are members of thousands of families," said Kamiar.  

Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl said of the brothers:

"Arash and Kamiar Alaei are some of the most inspiring people I know. I am honored to call them my friends. That they have come through the ordeal of their long imprisonments in Iran with even more idealism and hope for the future is not only a testament to their spirit, but the ultimate vindication of the values they represent."

About the Author

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Shreeya Sinha is an award-winning Journalist, Multimedia Producer and Social Media Editor for Asia Society. She was raised in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.