Scientist sentenced to death in Iran for refusing to spy on the west
A distinguished expert in disaster medicine was sentenced to death by the Iranian Regime last month, after he refused to spy for them.
Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a resident of Sweden, was sentenced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on October 21 after being found ‘guilty’ of providing evidence about Iran’s secret nuclear sites to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, which led to the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists in 2010-2012.
Of course, the Iranian Regime routinely accuses people of spying for the US and Israel, which it calls the Big Satan and the Little Satan respectively, with no actual evidence.
The truth is that Djalali, an accomplished scientist who has worked in many prestigious organisations across the world aimed at disaster relief, was approached by agents of the Iranian military intelligence in 2014.
They asked him to collect information on Western chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear sites, as well as counter-terrorism operational plans and critical infrastructures, but he refused point blank.
Then, in April 2016, when Djalali was the principal investigator on the European Project on Threat Identification and Emergency Response and the European Project on Terrorist attacks on Hospitals: Risk and Emergency Assessment Tools, he attended a conference in Iran. There he was detained by the security forces of the Regime’s shadowy Ministry of Information and taken to the notorious Evin prison.
He was kept solitary confinement for three months, interrogated daily without access to a lawyer, and tortured to obtain false confessions.
In December, he held a 42-day hunger strike and in February, he held a 43-day strike, causing significant damage to his health. Then in July, he was remanded to solitary confinement again during a staged visit from European ambassadors.
Numerous scientific organisations, human rights groups, and political leaders from across the world – particularly Sweden where Djalali lives with his wife and children- have appealed to the Regime about his case but received no response.
The Regime held two closed trial sessions, on August 22 and September 24, in the Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Abolqasem Salavati who is on a warning list for many human rights organizations.
On October 21, Djalali’s lawyer was told that his client had been sentenced to death and that he had 20 days to appeal.
Unfortunately, Djalali’s case is not an isolated one. The Iranian Regime has a long history of accusing scientists of spying for the West.
Princeton doctoral student Xiyue Wang, who was studying ancient manuscripts in Iran with the express permission of the Regime, was arrested in August 2016 and sentenced to 10 years this July.
While Omid Kokabee, a doctoral student at the University of Texas, was arrested in 2011 while visiting family in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Salavati after refusing to work for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. He was released in 2016 after developing kidney cancer.