Iranian TV Broadcasts Purported Confession of Iranian-Swedish Academic Sentenced to Death

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Iranian state TV has aired what it calls a confession by Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish academic who has been sentenced to death on charges of spying for Israel during nuclear talks with world powers.

The video aired late December 17, 2017 and was prepared by Iran's Intelligence Ministry. In the video, a narrator speaks over images of a purported "interview" with Djalali that is crosscut with archive footage, accusing him of being a "traitor" and of having been recruited by Mossad.

A scene from Ahmadreza Djalali’s forced confession that was aired on Iran’s state-run IRIB news channel on December 17, 2017.

Djalali says in the video that he gave the European intelligence Services information about key nuclear scientists: “They were showing me pictures of some people and satellite photos of nuclear facilities and were asking me to give them information about them." However, Djalali has previously stated that he is being held as a reprisal for refusing to spy for Iran.

The video comes just days after Amnesty International said Iran's Supreme Court had "run roughshod over the rule of law" by confirming Djalali's death sentence.

Sweden condemned the sentence in October and reported that it had raised the matter with Iranian envoys in Stockholm and Tehran. Seventy-five Nobel Prize Laureates petitioned Iranian authorities last month to release Djalali so he could “continue his scholarly work for the benefit of mankind.” They said Djalali has suggested it was his refusal to work for Iranian intelligence services that led to this "unfair, flawed trial."

We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide consider this arbitrary sentence a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of an academic who is clearly a victim of a political witch hunt—arrested without cause, held for months in solitary confinement, and subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse. Endangered Scholars Worldwide calls upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn this arbitrary sentence; to call for Djalali’s immediate and unconditional release; and to urge the officials of the Iranian government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties.

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei The Office of the Supreme Leader Jomhouri Street Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 644 11 Website: Facebook: Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary) Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran President Hassan Rouhani The Office of the President Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Javad Zarif Minister of Foreign Affairs The Minister’s Office Imam Khomeini Square Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 66743149 Website: Facebook: Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Email: Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Email: David Kaye United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland Fax: +41 22 917 9006 Email: Frederica Mogherini High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy European Commission Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200 1049 Brussels Belgium Thorbjørn Jagland Secretary General of the Council of Europe Council of Europe Avenue de l'Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex France Fax: + 33 3 88 41 27 99 Philippe Boillat Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law Council of Europe Avenue de l'Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex France Fax: + 33 3 88 41 27 99

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