In the light of the recent tragic earthquake disaster in Syria and Turkey the Human Rights Committee of Sweden’s Scientific and Literary Academies urges Iranian authorities to release Dr Ahmadreza Djalali. Dr Djalali is a physician and researcher specialized in disaster medicine and his expertise is sorely needed.
Stockholm 21 March 2023
We, the Human Rights Committee of Sweden’s Scientific and Literary Academies, write respectfully to seek your most urgent assistance with the situation of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, an imprisoned Iranian-Swedish physician and researcher specialized in disaster medicine and an academic colleague of ours.
Dr. Djalali, a dual Iranian-Swedish citizen and a very highly regarded Swedish academic expert, was arrested in April 2016 while visiting Iran, at the invitation of the University of Tehran and Shiraz University. In October 2017, he was convicted of committing espionage for a foreign government and sentenced to death by Iran’s Revolutionary Court. Credible reports indicate that Dr. Djalali was coerced under extreme duress to make false confessions that we understand were used as evidence in his prosecution. Dr. Djalali’s subsequent appeal to the Iranian Supreme Court to review his conviction and death sentence was rejected in June 2020.
Due in large part to the severe conditions in prison, Dr. Djalali suffers from a number of serious health problems for which we understand he has not received adequate medical treatment.
We respectfully seek your help in ensuring that Dr. Djalali’s death sentence is not effectuated. We further urge that, in view of his already lengthy imprisonment and in consideration of his dire ill-health, he be released as a matter of urgency and allowed to return to his wife and children in Sweden.
We want to emphasize that the earthquake disaster in Syria and Turkey, with more than 55.000 people tragically dead, and especially with more than 130.000 people injured in the two countries, makes the need of medical resources and medical expertise in the region more urgent than perhaps ever before. Keeping a renowned expert in disaster medicine in prison at this point stands out as a particularly troubling signal. Dr Djalali´s expertise is sorely needed, and there is still hope that he can return to his profession in the future, and directly or indirectly assist in the recovery of the people of this important region.
We thank you in advance, Your Excellency, for your attention to this crucial matter.
Professor, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of Sweden’s Scientific and Literary Academies
The Human Rights Committee of Sweden’s Scientific and Literary Academies includes members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, the Swedish Academy and the Young Academy of Sweden.