Dear Governor Deval Patrick and Senator John Kerry:
We the undersigned wish to convey our great concern regarding the systematic violation of the human and civil rights of Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi, a longtime resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and renowned political scientist who has authored many books and articles in leading journals, and has often been consulted by the media (1).
Dr. Afrasiabi was seriously mistreated by Cambridge police two years ago after he had approached them to complain about the racist discrimination he encountered at a local restaurant.We understand that due to intense international outcry the City of Cambridge has apologized and covered Dr. Afrasiabi’s medical expenses, which is welcome news. Unfortunately, we have also since learnt from Dr. Afrasiabi that the Cambridge police have continued their mistreatment of him by making spurious allegations against him that could deprive him of his liberty.According to Dr. Afrasiabi, he himself defended a local Arab business owner against a vicious smear by two former employees, who have now turned their venom against Dr. Afrasiabi.
We demand an immediate and permanent end to the relentless harassment and violation of the civil rights of Dr. Afrasiabi, a man with an exemplary record as a peace activist and scholarwho has twice before experienced backlashes for his bravery in defending oppressed peoples (2). We believe that this case gravely damages the reputation of Massachusetts, and indeed the United States, as a place where everyone, especially Muslims, can breathe freely and express themselves without fear of the loss of liberty and the infringement of their rights.