Detained scientist loses 25 kg in Evin Prison due to severe pressure
Ahmadreza Jalali, a university professor who has been sentenced to death on espionage charges in Iran, detailed his poor physical and mental condition in an audio file sent from Evin Prison in the second year of his detention, BBC Persian reported on April 26, 2018.
In the audio file, Jalali said that he had lost 25 kilograms in the past five to six months. “I’m suffering from insomnia, severe weakness, nausea and muscle aches”, he added. Jalali said that not seeing his family, the confirmation of his death sentence and not having access to scientific books had put mental pressure on him. Ahmadreza Jalali is a researcher and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and was arrested in April 2016 during a trip to Iran. The Supreme Court has confirmed his death sentence.
Ahmadreza Jalali, was on a business trip to Iran when he was arrested in April 2016. He was held in Evin prison by Ministry of Intelligence officials for seven months, three of them in solitary confinement. He has said that during this period he did not have access to a lawyer and was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment to “confess” to being a spy.
No investigation into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment is known to have taken place.
In October 2017, he was convicted of “spreading corruption on earth” for spying and sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial. His lawyers have said that the trial court relied primarily on evidence obtained under duress and produced no evidence to substantiate the allegation that he was anything other than an academic peacefully pursuing his profession.
In a letter written from inside Tehran’s Evin prison in August 2017, Ahmadreza Jalali said he was held solely in reprisal for his refusal to use his scholastic and work ties in European academic and other institutions to spy for Iran.
Amnesty International on October 2017 called on the Iranian Regime to overturn the death sentence against the Swedish academic.
Jalali has studied and worked in several European countries, including Sweden, Italy and Belgium, and several European officials have called for his release.
His wife Vida Mehrannia, who lives in Sweden with their two children, told Amnesty International that Jalali’s physical and mental health has sharply deteriorated since his arrest.
She said: “We are calling for his release because he has not committed any crime.”