Death sentence for Iranian academic upheld after grossly unfair trial

Ahmadreza Jalali

The Iranian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Iranian researcher Ahmad Reza Jalali despite widespread international opposition.
Dabir Darya Beigi, Jalali’s lawyer, received the verdict for the death sentence on Sunday December 10.
Ahmad Reza Jalali has worked with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and East Primo University in Italy. He was arrested in May 2016 following a trip to Iran. Jalali was invited by Tehran and Shiraz University to attend a crisis management workshop. The prominent academic was kept in solitary confinement during the seven months after his arrest.
the state-run Mizan news agency reported that during a meeting on October 24, Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, stated that Jalali had several meetings with Mossad and provided them with sensitive information about Iran’s military and nuclear sites, for which he received money and permanent residence in Sweden.
“Ahmadreza Jalali 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.” Amnesty International declared on October 23, 2017.

Jalali, 45, is married with two children and worked on improving hospitals’ emergency responses to armed terrorism and radiological, chemical and biological threat at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. He has been sentenced to death in Iran for collaboration with scientists from foreign, “enemy” states. He has refused to eat in protest to his arrest, and is said to be in poor mental and physical condition.

His lawyer has not appealed to the Iranian Supreme Court, although his appeal should have been filed within three weeks. It appears that it no appeal ever reached the Supreme Court. Since Djalali’s conviction, 268,000 people have signed petitions in his defense. According to the university, despite the pressure on scientific and diplomatic level by Belgian, Swedish, and Italian politicians, as well as by the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, Iran “continues to violate the rights of the professor.”Recently, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), have issued warnings of “infiltration” attempts by Iran’s enemies.

Djalali previously told his sister that he had been forced to sign a confession. The Iranian government is calling it a matter of national security.