Swedish Resident Facing Death Penalty: I Was Imprisoned For Refusing to Spy For Iran’s Intelligence Ministry
Ahmadreza Djajali, an Iranian-born Swedish resident who was sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran in October 2017 for alleged espionage charges, wrote in a letter from Evin Prison that he was imprisoned during a trip to Iran for refusing to spy for the Intelligence Ministry. The date of the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), is unknown. The relevant passages by Djalali, an expert in emergency and disaster medicine, have been produced unedited below along with the full letter. Djalali will be appealing his sentence within the 20-day deadline, a source close to the Djalali family told CHRI.
“During a trip to Iran in 2014, 2 people from a military center and the intelligence ministry met me. They asked me to cooperate with them to recognize and gather information/data (to spy) from the EU states, including their critical infrastructures, counter-terrorism and CBRNE capabilities, sensitive operational plans, and also research projects, relevant to terrorism and crisis. My answer was NO, and told them that I am just a scientist, not a spy, and my scientific help to Iran’s academic centers come from my love and commitment to my motherland. If you ask me to do something else such as spying, I would rather stop my cooperation with Iran, They asked me to forget that meeting and the offer, and they ensured me that there would not be any problem for me and I should continue my cooperation with Iran’s academic centers.
The second event happened in autumn, 2015. I was invited by the national passive defense organization (affiliated to the military system of Iran) to give a speech about health system resiliency against CBRNE terrorist attacks. Furthermore, I attended in couple of meetings about a training program relevant to passive defense and counter-terrorism, and unclassified and public project. Almost 6 months after these meetings, during my academic trip to Tehran, I was suddenly detained by the intelligence ministry, and was accused of acting against national security. They told me “you have gathered series of top secret and secret data about Iran’s critical infrastructures, crisis management and passive dense systems and projects, and then have transferred them to Israel. They accused me of being the spy of Israel since 2008 and told me “all your PhD studying and post-doc fellow processes, and also the visa and residency (temporary and permanent) issues in EU (Sweden and Italy) have been arranged and offered by Israel in lieu of (in exchange for) your spying services for them”. I rejected the accusation and their blames, and emphasized that all processes as well as the residency have been legally conducted by the universities. I have never had relationships and cooperation with any Intelligence services, not from Israel or any other country. I have never travelled to Israel, also had no colleague or friends from Israel.”
Download a PDF file of Djalali’s entire letter.