At 12 p.m. CST, freeomid.org is planning a "Twitter storm" to alert people to the situation of Omid Kokabee, a former UT physics graduate student who is imprisoned in Iran.
Kokabee was arrested and imprisoned in Iran in 2011 on charges on conspiracy. He was charged with "allegedly conspiring with enemies of Iran and receiving illegitimate funds.” He has since been sentenced to a 10-year term, and has lost multiple appeals. In multiple letters from prison, Kokabee has insisted on his innocence. Advocates from the international academic community claim Kokabee was wrongly accused and given an unfair trial.
Last summer, UT President William Powers Jr. attempted to gain permission to release a statement supporting Kokabee. However, he was unable to do so because according to UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroara only the board president or UT System chancellor may comment on “matters of a political or obviously controversial nature, which represent an official position of the UT System or any institution or department thereof.”
The Twitter storm begins at 1 p.m.
Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard.