Supreme Court Upholds Swedish Resident Ahmadreza Djalali’s Death Sentence
Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence issued against Iranian-born Swedish resident Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been imprisoned in Tehran since April 2016 after being arrested by the Intelligence Ministry.
Djalali’s wife, Vida Mehran-nia, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that her husband’s main lawyer was told the Supreme Court’s decision in court on December 5, 2017, but he was denied a physical copy of the ruling. A member of Djalali’s defense team, attorney Zeynab Taheri, also confirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling to CHRI on December 10.
“Ahmadreza wanted the Supreme Court to review his sentence but the death sentence was upheld very quickly,” said Mehran-nia. “I again urge [President Hassan] Rouhani and the judiciary to review my husband’s case.”
“Don’t just rely on the personal views of two interrogators,” she said. “Don’t play with someone’s life like this. Ahmadreza has two children who are 5- and 15-years old.”
“My husband wanted to see the ruling to understand why he has been sentenced to death,” Mehran-nia told CHRI. “But his objections got nowhere. This time they have again refused to give him a copy of the ruling. His lawyer was only able to read it inside the courtroom.”
Djalali, a researcher in disaster medicine, was sentenced to death for “moharebeh” (enmity with God) based on a forced confession on October 21, 2017, by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati.
A non-practicing general medicine physician with a post-doctorate degree in emergency and disaster medicine, Djalai has been accused of spying for Israel. However, in a letter from Evin Prison in Tehran where he is being held, he said he was arrested in April 2016 after refusing to spy for Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.
Wrote Djalali: “My answer was NO, and I told them that I am just a scientist, not a spy, and my scientific help to Iran’s academic centers comes 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 assured me that there would not be any problem for me and I should continue my cooperation with Iran’s academic centers.”
Djalali had previously traveled to Iran by invitation of state organizations, including the Red Crescent.
The Intelligence Ministry arrested him on April 24, 2016, after Djalali entered the country on official invite by Tehran University.
At least 12 dual and foreign nationals are currently imprisoned in Iran after prosecutions that lacked any semblance of due process. In November 2017, Reuters reported that at least 30 dual nationals had been arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) since the signing of the nuclear deal in July 2015.