Iranian Court Upholds Death Penalty for Researcher

December 13, 2017

Human rights groups are reporting that Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a disaster medicine researcher, Ahmadreza Djalali. Amnesty International reported Tuesday that Djalali’s lawyers have learned that the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence “in a summary manner without granting them an opportunity to file their defense submissions.”

Djalali, an Iranian-born resident of Sweden, was arrested in April 2016 during an academic trip to Iran and convicted in October of spying in what Amnesty describes as a “grossly unfair” trial. In an August letter from Tehran’s Evin Prison, Djalali wrote that he was arrested for his refusal to use his academic and other ties in Europe to spy for Iran. Djalali holds a Ph.D. in disaster medicine from the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden, and taught at the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, in Italy, and at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium.

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