Iran: Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali at grave risk of 'retaliatory' execution

Earlier this week a Swedish court upheld a life sentence against a former Iranian official implicated in prison massacres 

Ahmadreza Djalali has been arbitrarily held in Iran for past seven-and-a-half years

‘The international community, including Sweden, must immediately call on the Iranian authorities to halt any plans to execute Ahmadreza Djalali’ - Diana Eltahawy

Reacting to alarming developments indicating that Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali - who has been arbitrarily detained in Iran since 2016 - is at grave risk of imminent retaliatory execution by the Iranian authorities, Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said:

“Amid a sharp spike in executions in Iran since November, mounting evidence indicates that the Iranian authorities are threatening to carry out Ahmadreza Djalali’s execution in retaliation for their unmet demands to pervert the course of justice in Sweden.

“The cruel toying with Ahmadreza Djalali’s life immediately after a Swedish court of appeals upheld the conviction and life sentence against former Iranian prison official Hamid Nouri over his role in the 1988 prison massacres heightens concerns that Iranian officials are holding Ahmadreza Djalali hostage to compel Sweden into a prisoner swap.

“The international community, including Sweden, must immediately call on the Iranian authorities to halt any plans to execute Ahmadreza Djalali, end their shocking assault on the right to life, release him immediately and put a moratorium on all executions. 

“Iranian officials must be investigated for the crime of hostage-taking.” 

Family told execution imminent

Earlier this week (19 December), a Swedish appeals court upheld a conviction and life sentence against Hamid Nouri for his role in Iran’s notorious 1988 prison massacres. The next day Iranian state media disseminated a propaganda video containing Djalali’s forced “confessions”, which included a supposed confession of being a spy for Israel. Djalali has repeatedly denied these accusations and said his “confessions” were made under torture and other ill-treatment. The video also included the forced “confessions” of Swedish-Iranian Habib Chaab, whom the Iranian authorities arbitrary executed in secret in May, further raising grave concerns that Djalali is at risk of imminent execution.

Earlier today, an official from the judiciary visited Djalali in prison warning that his conviction and death sentence are “confirmed” and “will soon be implemented”, according to information revealed by Djalali’s family. Outrageously, the official also claimed that Sweden is holding Hamid Nouri to pressure Iran to release Djalali. The Iranian authorities sentenced Djalali to death for “corruption on earth” in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

In recent weeks, the Iranian authorities have carried out a wave of executions, executing at least 115 people in November alone.

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