The name of another prominent figure in the list of the “#meetoo” movement in Iran; A doctor accused of sexual harassment.
#meetoo is also a movement that started four years ago with the aim of ending sexual abuse or harassment. Many people around the world joined the movement by breaking the silence and mentioning the names of prominent figures. A movement whose waves also reached Iran. In the past few months, people have spoken out about allegations of sexual harassment against Dr. Arash Alaei.
If we look at the cases of exposing sexual harassment, both in Iran and in other countries, we see that although the experience and narrative of each of these women are different, but the reactions are often the same: ignoring, denying, destroying the character of the abuser. Seen, lured and even threatened.
The audio file obtained by one of the news agencies was related to the trial of the University of Albania on the charges of a well-known and influential person.
According to Dr. Arash Alaei, according to the University of Albania, he worked at the university from 2012 to 2017.
New York State University in Albania, also known as the University of Albania or Sunny Albania, is a public research university in New York.
Arash Alaei is a well-known researcher in the field of medicine.
He has been active in the field of HIV / AIDS in Iran for many years. Alaei and his brother Kamyar, who is also a doctor, were arrested in Iran in 2008 on charges of subversion and sentenced to prison; Kamyar was sentenced to three years and Arash to six years in prison.
Kamyar Alaei was released after three years and three months later, Arash Alaei was pardoned and released on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
They have received international awards, such as the Elizabeth Taylor Prize, for their work on HIV / AIDS prevention and treatment. Over the years, the Alaei brothers, with the help of the US government, paved the way for the education of many Iranians.
What can be heard in the audio file?
The meeting, the audio file of which we received, was organized with the aim of examining how the university handled the accusations and allegations made against Arash by the students and the university’s response to these issues. The meeting was attended by a number of university officials and interns who were in direct contact with Arash Alaei at the university.
In this one-hour session, some important points will be raised.
One of the important points that can be understood from this audio file is the subject of “Title 9” or “Title 9”.
Title 9 of the Federal Anti-Gender Discrimination Civil Rights Act is part of the 1972 Education Amendment. It is legal to prevent discrimination, rape, sexual harassment in all education programs funded by the central government.
“We had an employee, Arash, who agreed to leave the university, but he did not,” an official was quoted as saying.
This seems to be the story of the agreement between the university and Alaei based on what is heard in this audio file.
“In general, sometimes we negotiate and agree before we get to the research stage. Before anyone asks why you agreed with the person who committed the sexual harassment, I have to say that for the same reason that in criminal cases they sometimes end the work by negotiation and agreement. Sometimes you have to, and sometimes it is better for everyone to resolve the issue through negotiation. “
“In the case of Arash Alaei, we thought we were doing our best. “He is also leaving the university and at the same time we are protecting those who stepped forward.”
In many organizations, when a person is charged with sexual harassment, they enter into negotiations with the accused person and quietly terminate the work of the accused person in that institution by mutual agreement.
Mr. Alaei’s lawyers and the University of Albania did not respond to a question about Title 9 and an administrative inquiry into the charges against Arash Alaei.
What to say to sexual harassment survivors and what not to say?
One of the problems with dealing with these cases is that abused people must be willing to file a formal complaint; This is something that many sufferers give up for many reasons because they are too vulnerable to go through such a process.
Apprentices and students present at the meeting are protesting why he is still working at the university after the administrative investigation into Arash Alaei that eventually led to his departure from the university.
Arash and Kamyar Alaei worked at the World Institute for Health and Human Rights at the University of Albany, which they founded in 2012.
According to what was said in this meeting, the main purpose of this agreement was that Arash Alaei would not have any contact with students and interns in the university environment. But students and trainees present at the meeting claim that Mr. Alaei did not adhere to this. These students and interns provide the university with a certificate that proves this.
Audio file; What has been the concern of the trainees?
This is part of the statements of the trainees present at this meeting:
“We are worried. Arash and Kamyar are well-known people and people know them outside of university. “I think this is very worrying. Arash has proven many times that university policies do not apply to him.”
“For example, what if another university calls you and asks for a referral?”
The answer of one of the officials is: “We only tell them how many years Arash and Kamyar have been in this university. This.”
This was exactly the answer that the university gave in response to the news agency’s questions.
After leaving the University of Albania, Arash and Kamyar Alaei continued their activities in other institutions without interruption.
Several people accused Arash Alaei on social media. Including a person whose identity we know but whose name is reserved for us:
“We were at a university party and had a few drinks. Arash offered to take me home.
On the way, I talked about the problems I was facing and Arash invited me to his house to talk more about these issues. I was very happy that one of the main leaders of our university program was finally able to listen to the problems that were mainly due to the lack of transparency in their management decisions.
At Arash’s house, after drinking a few drinks, I felt bad on the balcony and fainted.
When I woke up, I was in bed next to Arash and both of them were naked. Arash repeatedly insisted on having sex, and I was shocked and shocked by the situation. “Every time I asked him not to come forward, he was so dizzy and nauseous that he let me get up and ask him to take me home.”
Answer by Arash Alaei’s lawyers
Mr. Alaei’s lawyers have been asked about this. They denied all the allegations and told the news agency that they needed to answer the real identity and name of this person; But that news agency is not able to reveal his identity at the request of this person.
There have been other allegations of sexual harassment against Arash Alaei, which his lawyer has denied, citing personal motives as the reason for some of the allegations.
Arash and Kamyar Alaei did not respond to a request for an interview. Their lawyer has strongly denied any allegations of sexual harassment.
The issue of sexual harassment and similar allegations will continue in different dimensions and forms in different countries. But it is clear that the approach that in many cases prefers to deny the issue rather than address it and not consider appropriate solutions in advance, must change.