31, Oct 2017 | CJP Team
Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian born Swedish resident and expert in disaster medicine has been sentenced to death by Iranian authorities on charges of espionage. Dr. Djalai is a medical doctor and university lecturer. He has studied and taught in Sweden, Italy and Belgium. He was arrested in April last year when he was visiting Iran at the invitation of the Tehran University.
According to his wife Vida Mehrannia, “Ahmadreza had always travelled to Iran by invitation of state organizations, including the Red Crescent, and never experienced problems before.” He has previously collaborated with Tehran University, Shiraz University and the Natural Disaster Medicine Institute in Iran. However, Dr. Djalali was under suspicion for working with the Israeli government. The Iranian authorities believe that it was the Israelis who helped Dr. Djalali get a residency permit in Sweden. Dr. Djalali was living in Sweden with his wife and two children aged 5 and 14.
After his arrest, Dr. Djalai was kept in custody for seven months without being allowed to seek legal counsel. According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, “Djalali was held in solitary confinement at Evin Prison’s Ward 209, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence, and interrogated for seven months before being transferred to the public Ward 7.” In fact, last December Dr. Djalali had gone on a hunger strike and has reportedly lost 18 kgs of weight. After a forced video confession and an allegedly sham trial, he was convicted for “working with enemy states”.
According to Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, “Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law.”
If you too would like to get Dr Djalali released, you can sign this petition.