The Iranian authorities must urgently quash the death sentence against the Iranian-born Swedish resident and specialist in emergency medicine Ahmadreza Djalali, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
The medical doctor and university lecturer had studied and taught in Sweden, Italy and Belgium. Since his arrest in April 2016, several European officials have called for his release.
Zeynab Taheri, one of Ahmadreza Djalali’s lawyers, said that he was sentenced to death for the charge of “corruption on earth”, 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.