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Scheduled Execution of Ahmadreza Djalali: Europe Must Make Consequences of Killing a Hostage Clear to the Islamic Republic

9 May
Scheduled Execution of Ahmadreza Djalali: Europe Must Make Consequences of Killing a Hostage Clear to the Islamic Republic

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); May 9, 2022: The international community, European countries with diplomatic relations with Iran in particular, must make the serious consequences of executing Ahmadreza Djalali clear to Islamic Republic officials.

In recent days, Iranian state media have reported that Iranian-Swedish death row prisoner, Dr Ahmadreza Djalali will be executed by May 21, in just over 10 days. 

Reports say that the scheduled execution is in reaction to the trial of Hamid Noury , held in Sweden, for war crimes for his participation in mass-execution of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran. 

Condemning the threat of execution, Iran Human Rights calls for an immediate and firm response from European governments to save the life of Ahmadreza Djalali.

Iran Human Rights Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “At this stage, a firm stance by Europe is the only way to save Ahmadreza Djalali. European governments must make it clear to Islamic Republic officials that executing Ahmadreza Djalali is considered an execution of a hostage which will have serious consequences.” He added: “Like ISIS, the Islamic Republic practises the policy of hostage-taking and threatening the West with their execution. The difference being that unlike ISIS, the Islamic Republic has a seat at the UN and diplomatic relations with other countries, including Europe. Severing diplomatic and trade relations and prosecuting the perpetrators of the murder of this hostage are actions that European governments can and should take in the event of Ahamdreza Djalali’s execution; this must be made clear to the Islamic Republic before the crime is carried out.”
 

An Iranian judicial official issued the threat as the trial of Hamid Noury was drawing to a close in Stockholm. Kazem Gharibabadi, the secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and deputy chief of the Iranian Judiciary’s International Affairs threatened on May 2 that the sentences of individuals linked to Sweden would be carried out. On May 4, Iranian state media reported that his execution would be carried out within two weeks. Dr Djalali’s lawyer has also been notified of his client’s imminent execution.

Ahmadreza’s wife, Vida Mehrannia told Iran Human Rights: “On Saturday, Ahmadreza’s lawyer went to the Evin Prison court and spoke to judiciary officials who also said they’ll be carrying out the sentence.”

The scheduled execution in retaliation against the trial of Hamid Noury demonstrates once again that the Islamic Republic of Iran uses the death penalty as a political tool to achieve its goals. Iran Human Rights warns again of the serious and imminent risk to Ahmadreza Djalali’s life should the international community not take urgent action.

The policy of taking foreign nationals hostage with the aim of gaining political privileges or exchanging with prisoners affiliated with the Iranian government, has a long history and has been used continuously since the 1979 revolution. Many analysts believe that this policy will continue as long as Western governments comply with the hostage-taking demands of the Islamic Republic and they continue to not face any serious consequences over their actions.

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 sentenced to “efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth) through espionage for Israel” after a grossly unfair trial by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran without due process. The charge was also upheld by the Supreme Court.