Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Professor Ahmadreza Djalali to Go on Trial for Espionage

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian disaster-medicine researcher who was sent to prison in April 2016, is due to go to trial on September 27 on charges of “collaboration with a hostile government.” Djalali has been warned by the Iranian court that he may be facing a death sentence, according to his wife, Vida Mehrannia.

The 45-year-old professor taught at the European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) in Italy—a joint Master’s program by the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He was arrested in April 2016 while visiting his family in Iran, after which he spent more than seven months in solitary confinement without a proper trial or access to a lawyer. In December 2016 Djalali led a hunger strike to protest these conditions, despite suffering from medical conditions such as kidney and heart pain.