Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Iran’s Supreme Court has rejected a request to review the death sentence given to Ahmadreza Djalali, a university professor accused of passing information to Israel.
On February 6, 2018, Djalali's lawyer, Zeinab Taheri, said, “The judge rejected our request on Sunday in less than an hour. We will file a new request with the Supreme Court to demand that the dossier be read, given the sensitivity of the case.”
The 45-year-old professor, who taught at the European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) in Italy—a joint master’s program at the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel—was arrested on charges of “collaboration with a hostile government” while visiting family in Tehran in April 2016. Djalali was then accused of providing information to Israel to aid in the assassination of several senior nuclear scientists. Amnesty International reported that Djalali’s lawyers were told on December 9, 2017 that the Supreme Court had considered his case and upheld the October 24 sentence in a secret process. The lawyers had not been allowed to file defense submissions.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide and the undersigned 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.
We deplore this verdict and ask 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.