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6th November 2017, 16:18:31 UTC

Iranian medical doctor and academic specialising in disaster medicine Dr Ahmadreza Djalali has been sentenced to death.

Dr Ahmadreza Djalali is an Iranian-born Swedish resident and academic. He has been sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” after a grossly unfair trial. His conviction was based on torture-tainted “confessions” that he was forced to make while in solitary confinement without access to his lawyer or family. He is a prisoner of conscience.

Iranian-born Swedish resident Ahmadreza Djalali, a scientist, medical doctor and academic. Ahmadreza Djalali, who has taught in universities in Belgium, Italy, and Sweden was on a business trip to Iran when he was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials in April 2016. His family had no knowledge of his whereabouts for 10 days after his arrest. He was held in an unknown location for a week before being transferred to section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison, where he was held for seven months, three of them in solitary confinement.

The court verdict alleged that Ahmadreza Djalali had worked as a spy for Israel in the 2000s. According to one of his lawyers, the court produced no evidence to substantiate the claims against him. The court also failed to provide a copy of the verdict and instead summoned one of the lawyers on 21 October 2017 to read the verdict in court.

He has since said that, while in solitary confinement, he was denied access to a lawyer and was forced to make “confessions” in front of a video camera by reading out statements pre-written by his interrogators. He has said that he was put under intense pressure through torture and other ill-treatment, including threats to execute him, his children who live in Sweden, and his elderly mother who lives in Iran, to “confess” to being a spy. He denies the accusations against him and says they have been fabricated by the authorities. In an August 2017 letter written from inside Evin prison, he says he was asked by the Iranian authorities in 2014 to “cooperate with them to identify and gather intelligence from EU states…My answer was ‘no’ and I told them that I am just a scientist, not a spy.”

The Prosecutor General of Tehran, Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi said, without specifically naming Ahmadreza Djalali, that “the defendant” had held several meetings with [Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad and provided them with sensitive information about Iran’s military and nuclear sites in return for money and residency in Sweden.

On 9 December, Ahmadreza Djalali’s lawyers learned that Branch 1 of the Supreme Court had considered and upheld his death sentence in a summary manner without granting the lawyers an opportunity to file defence submissions.

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