Letter-writing campaign Amnesty to free Dr Ahmadreza Djalali
- Monday, 30 October 2017
Iranian-born Swedish resident Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer in disaster medicine, has been detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since his arrest on 25 April 2016. While in solitary confinement, he was subjected to intense interrogations, and forced under great emotional and psychological pressure to sign statements. He has been accused of being a spy for a "hostile government" (i.e. Israel) and threatened with the death penalty.
Dr Djalali went on hunger strike in December 2016 when his interrogators told him that he would face the death penalty if he refused to sign a statement "confessing" to being a spy. His hunger strike lasted three months and resulted in the severe deterioration of his health. Acoording to his wife Vida, he has lost 29 kilos and developed problems in his heart and kidneys, and has experienced gastro-intestinal bleeding. In April 2017, she wrote on the Amnesty International website: "Ahmadreza has always been devoted to helping others; now he is wasting away in prison for nothing. I ask Amnesty International activists around the world to help bring my husband back to his wife and children, and to the academic world."
Earlier this month, Dr Djalali was sentenced to death and fined 200,000 euros after being convicted of "corruption on earth" by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The court verdict alleged that Djalali had worked as a spy for Israel in the 2000s. According to one of his lawyers, the court produced no evidence to substantiate these claims. Following this verdict, Amnesty International has issued an urgent call upon everyone to write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to repeal Dr Djalali's conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally.
IFHHRO strongly supports the campaign of Amnesty International to free Dr Djalali. We are deeply concerned about this attack on medical practice and international cooperation. We believe international support could make a difference.