London, 15 Feb – European governments are protesting the treatment of a Swedish scientist by the Iranian Regime.
Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a physician who specialises in disaster medicine, was arrested without a warrant, last year in Iran, and faces the death penalty.
Dr. Djalali, who has taught at universities in Belgium, Italy and Sweden, had arrived in Iran last April for a conference and was arrested by the Regime for “collaboration with enemy states”.
The Italian government has highlighted extreme concern for Dr. Djalali in its communications with the Iranian Regime, whilst the Swedish Embassy in Tehran has asked for “consular access” to the scientist.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is facing increased pressure to insist on Dr. Djalali’s release in exchange for sanctions release.
Dr. Djalali has been detained at the notorious Evin prison since his arrest on April 25, according to a statement from Amnesty International.
The statement reveals that Dr. Djalali appeared in court on January 31, without his lawyer present, to be told that he was accused of espionage.
His lawyer told Amnesty that they are still awaiting an indictment and a trial date.
Dr. Djalali has been on hunger strike since December 26, after he refused to sign a confession.
Amnesty noted that Dr. Djalali has been denied access to his lawyer and “was subjected to intense interrogations and was forced under great emotional and psychological pressure to sign statements.”
Caroline Pauwels, the rector of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where Dr. Djalali was teaching, said: “This scientist has been convicted without a public trial, and now faces the death penalty.”
Dr. Djalali wife, Vida Mehrannia, who lives in Stockholm with the couple’s two children, had originally kept quiet about her husband’s detainment in hopes of placating the Regime into letting her husband go.
The Regime has not commented on Dr. Djalali, but they do not recognise dual nationality, nor do they allow Iranians to surrender their citizenship, and as such will not allow him consular access.
They currently have dozens of dual-nationals imprisoned under similar spurious charges.