IRAN WATCH CANADA

Monday, October 23, 2017

Iran: Prominent academic sentenced to death after grossly unfair trial

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 
PRESS RELASE 
23 October 2017
Iran: Prominent academic sentenced 
to death after grossly unfair trial
The Iranian authorities must urgently quash the death 
sentence against Iranian-born Swedish resident and 
specialist in emergency medicine Ahmadreza Djalali, 
said Amnesty International today.
The medical doctor and university lecturer had studied 
and taught in Sweden, Italy and Belgium. Since his arrest 
in April 2015, several European officials have called for his 
release.
Zeynab Taheri, one of Ahmadreza Djalali’s lawyers, told Amnesty International that he was sentenced to death for the charge of 
“corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz), and has been given a 
200,000 
euro fine. The court verdict, which was shown to one of the 
lawyers, states that Ahmadreza Djalali worked with the Israeli government, who subsequently helped him obtain his 
residency 
permit in Sweden. 
“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,” said Philip Luther,
 Amnesty 
International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the 
Middle East and North Africa. 
“No evidence has ever been presented to show that he is 
anything other than an academic peacefully pursuing his 
profession.”
“If he has been convicted and sentenced for peacefully 
exercising his rights to freedom of expression, association and 
assembly, including through his academic work, the authorities 
must immediately and unconditionally release him and drop all 
charges against him.”
Ahmadreza Djalali was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence 
officials
 in April 2016 and held without access to a lawyer for seven
 months, three of which were in solitary confinement. Even 
after that period, every lawyer he selected was rejected by 
the court. 
In a voice recording that was published on YouTube
 on 22 
October, Ahmadreza Djalali is heard saying that, 
while in 
solitary confinement, he was twice forced to make 
“confessions” in front of a video camera by reading 
out statements pre-written by his interrogators. 
He says 
that he was put under intense pressure through 
psychological 
torture and threats to execute him and arrest his 
children to 
“confess” to being a spy for a “hostile government”. 
In the recording, he says that his academic beliefs have 
been used to convict him and sentence him to death. 
He also denies the accusations against him and says 
they have been fabricated by Ministry of Intelligence 
interrogators. 
“At a time when the Iranian authorities are actively 
strengthening 
ties with countries in the European Union, it is absurd 
that they are 
using Ahmadreza Djalali’s academic links to a European 
country as
 part 
of the ‘evidence’ against him,” said Philip Luther.
Ahmadreza Djalali’s wife Vida Mehrannia, who lives in 
Sweden 
with their two children, has told Amnesty International 
that his 
physical and mental health have sharply deteriorated 
since he 
was detained. She added: “We are calling for his 
release because 
he has not committed any crime.” 
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all 
cases 
without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, 
the characteristics of the offender, or the method used 
by the 
state to kill the prisoner. The death penalty is a violation
 of 
the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and 
degrading punishment.
ENDS

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