Iran presses for execution of Swedish-Iranian academic – Report


Amnesty International said it was horrified to learn that Ahmadreza Djalali, a dual Iranian-Swedish citizen, has been transferred to solitary confinement in Evin prison and told by the prosecution authorities that his death sentence will be carried out imminently.

The rights group calls upon the international community to intervene immediately and pressure Iran to halt the execution of the emergency medicine specialist.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Diana Eltahawy, said: “We were horrified to learn that the authorities have instructed the office in charge of implementing sentences to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.”

“It is appalling that despite repeated calls from UN human rights experts to quash Ahmadreza Djalali’s death sentence and release him, the Iranian authorities have instead decided to push for this irreversible injustice,” said Eltahawy.

The director said Iranian authorities must immediately halt any plans to execute Djalali and end their shocking assault on his right to life.

“We call on members of the international community to immediately intervene, including through their embassies in Tehran, to save Ahmadreza Djalali’s life before it is too late,” continued Eltahawy.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and without exception as the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment.

Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

In a letter written from inside Evin prison in August 2017, Djalali said he was held solely because of his refusal to use his academic ties in European institutions to spy for Iran.

The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Djalili says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer.

These included threats to execute him, kill or otherwise harm his children, who live in Sweden, and his mother, who lives in Iran.

Amnesty International has consistently held that that the offence of “corruption on earth” fails to meet requirements for clarity and precision needed in criminal law, and also breaches the principle of legality and legal certainty.

International human rights bodies have consistently held that it is a violation of the right to life to pass a death sentence after criminal proceedings that violate fair trial guarantees.

In November 2017, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Iran to release Djalali immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations as he had been detained without an arrest warrant and had been “effectively prevented from exercising his right to challenge the lawfulness of his detention”.

Since December 2017, his lawyers have filed at least two requests for a judicial review and both have been rejected.

On December 09, 2018, his lawyers learned that Branch 1 of the Supreme Court had upheld his death sentence without granting them an opportunity to file their defence submissions on his behalf. (Source: Amnesty Intl.)