In a gripping long read, journalist Maurice Tamman profiles prominent Iranian scientist-in-exile Kaveh Madani, whose arrest and subsequent flight from Iran speak to the difficulties faced by researchers and environmentalists in underdeveloped nations.
Iranian scientist Kaveh Madani’s career was in full bloom as he settled into his seat in early 2018 for a flight home from Bangkok to Tehran.
Though raised in the Iranian capital, the civil engineer had left the country at 22 to continue his studies abroad, earning renown for his research into how climate change affects water supplies. About six months earlier, however, the Iranian government had wooed the 36-year-old away from a prestigious professorship in London to a cabinet-level post as deputy environment minister.
On this day, he was finishing up a four-country trip representing Tehran at meetings on water resources and other environmental issues. After takeoff, he connected to the Wi-Fi and checked his Twitter feed.
Several Twitter accounts had posted old pictures of him at a party dancing with women – considered a grave breach of decorum by ultra-conservatives in Iran’s cleric-dominated government. The more he scrolled, the more alarmed he grew.
Read the full story from Reuters.