On May 4, Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported that Iran’s judiciary was taking steps to carry out its death sentence against the Swedish-Iranian scholar Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali on May 21, 2022. This is the third time that authorities have threatened to execute Dr. Djalali, who was wrongfully sentenced to death in 2017 on charges of spying for Israel to help in a purported effort to assassinate several Iranian nuclear scientists and for “spreading corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz).
Dr. Djalali, 50, is a Swedish-Iranian academic and researcher of disaster medicine, who held lecturer positions at the European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) in Italy and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. In April 2016, he traveled to Iran to participate in a series of workshops hosted by universities in Tehran and Shiraz, during which he was arrested on charges of “collaboration with hostile governments” and “acting against national security.” Despite the lack of evidence to substantiate the allegations, he has been detained in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison since 2016 and intermittently held in solitary confinement.
During his imprisonment, Dr. Djalali has been repeatedly denied the right to appeal and legally dispute his conviction. He has been denied access to medical care, even as his health was deteriorating in solitary confinement, and denied even remote access to his lawyer and family. He has been subjected to ongoing physical mistreatment and psychological torture, forced to confess allegations and sign statements under threats of execution. In response to this continuing abuse, he went on a long hunger strike.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW) previously circulated a letter of appeal on the behalf of Professor Djalali, condemning his imprisonment, and calling for his unconditional release. Today, once again, we call on the Iranian government to immediately halt the execution of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, revoke his conviction and sentence, and provide him access to his family and lawyers without further delay.
ESW asks all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights and academic freedom to strongly protest and condemn this arbitrary sentence and to call for Professor Djalali’s immediate release.
We at ESW condemn the arbitrary detention of dual national scholars in Iran and urge the Iranian government to end the tactic of taking foreign nationals, dual citizen scholars and students hostage for political gains and to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties.
Please send appeals to the following:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei The Office of the Supreme Leader Jomhouri St,
Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 644 11 Website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.Khamenei.ir
President Raeisi The office of the President Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran
Minister of Foreign Affairs The Minister’s Office
Imam Khomeini Sq. Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 66743149 Website: http://www.mfa.gov.ir Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jzarif