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Ahmadreza Djalali at Imminent Risk of Execution/ Iran Human Rights Calls for Urgent International Action

4 May 22
Ahmadreza Djalali at Imminent Risk of Execution/ Iran Human Rights Calls for Urgent International Action

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); May 4, 2022: According to Iranian state media, Iranian-Swedish death row prisoner, Dr Ahmadreza Djalali will be executed by May 21, within two weeks.

The scheduled execution which is in reaction to the trial of Hamid Noury for war crimes in Sweden per the reports, demonstrates once again that the Islamic Republic of Iran uses the death penalty as an extortion and pressure tool on Western countries. Kazem Gharibabadi, the secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and deputy chief of the Iranian Judiciary’s International Affairs had threatened on May 2 that the sentences of individuals linked to Sweden would be carried out.

Iran Human Rights calls on the International community once again to stop Ahamdreza Djalali’s execution with timely action.

According to state-run ISNA, the death sentence of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, a dual national researcher currently on death row for espionage charges, is scheduled to be carried out by the end of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht (May 21).



Who is Ahmadreza Djalali?

Ahmadreza Djalali was living in Sweden since 2009 and is a dual Swedish-Iranian national who was a physician crisis management researcher working at the Karolinska Institutet, a medical university near Stockholm. He was also teaching at universities in Italy and Belgium.

Ahmadreza had travelled to Iran at the official invitation of the University of Tehran when he was arrested in April 2016. Initially charged with “collaborating with hostile States”, he was later charged with “efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) through espionage for Israel” by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. The charge was also upheld by the Supreme Court.


Forced confession under torture and pressure

Ahmadreza Djalali was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence forces on 24 April 2016 while driving to Karaj. He spent three months in the Ministry’s detention centre where he was subjected to physical and psychological torture and pressure to make false self-incriminating confessions. His forced confessions were aired on national television, and were used as evidence of his guilt at trial.

Ahmadreza’s mother previously told Iran Human Rights: “They threatened Ahmadreza and told him that if he didn’t cooperate with them, they would kill his children in Sweden. They kept him in a solitary cell full of cockroaches and ants for a long time. He was blindfolded and constantly cursed at and humiliated throughout his interrogations in Ward 209 (Evin Prison).”

In a statement issued in November 2020, Iran Human Rights emphasised the inhumanity of the death penalty itself, stating that Dr Djalali’s death sentence was the result of conspiracy theories by Iran’s security officials to charge dual-nationals with espionage, pressure and torture them to obtain forced confessions and violate their right to a fair trial. 


Use of death penalty as a political tool

The threat of Ahmadreza’s execution in retaliation for the trial of an Islamic Republic official in Sweden shows that the Iranian government is using the death penalty as a political tool to achieve its goals. Iran Human Rights warns of the imminent risk to Ahmadreza Djalali’s life should the international community not react in time.

According to the 2021 Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 13 people were executed on the security charges of efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), moharebeh (enmity against God) and baghy (armed rebellion).