Iran condemned for sentencing researcher to death for ‘working with Israel’

Iran condemned for sentencing researcher to death for ‘working with Israel’

Amnesty International decries 'torture, false confession and a grossly unfair trial' of Ahmadreza Djalali

Amnesty International has decried the death sentence handed down to a Swedish medical academic in Iran for allegedly “working with Israel”.

The human rights charity said Ahmadreza Djalali, a researcher in disaster medicine, had been found guilty by Iranian authorities “after psychological torture, false confessions and a grossly unfair trial”.

Djalali was arrested in April last year and an Iranian judge has now ruled that he was working with the Israeli government, which it said had subsequently arranged for his Swedish residency permit.

His wife this week explained that her husband was accused of obtaining money, academic positions and research projects in exchange for spying on Iran for Israel. Djalali’s colleagues, meanwhile, say he believes he was convicted for refusing to spy for Iran.

On Saturday, he was found guilty of “corruption on earth,” but Amnesty said Djalali’s lawyers have documented how he was kept in solitary confinement for months, and how all his lawyers were rejected by the court.

In a recording of Djalali, who helps hospitals improve their emergency response to armed terrorism and radiological, chemical, biological and nuclear threats, he is heard explaining how he was forced to confess that he spied for Israel after threats to arrest his children.

“No evidence has ever been presented to show that he is anything other than an academic peacefully pursuing his profession,” said Amnesty’s Middle East director Philip Luther.

“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.”

Iran carried out 567 executions last year, the second highest number in the world, including two juveniles.

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