Iran: Release Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali

Posted September 5, 2019

On July 29, 2019, Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a scholar of disaster medicine sentenced to death in Iran, was unexpectedly transferred to an undisclosed location, where he was reportedly held in solitary confinement. Dr. Djalali’s wife reports that authorities attempted to extract false confessions from him through torture and threats to execute his death sentence.

SAR has issued the below letter to Iranian officials, urging them to secure Dr. Djalali’s immediate and unconditional release from prison.

Demonstrate your support for Dr. Djalali and the right to academic freedom by sending a copy of this letter under your own name and tweeting this call-to-action over social media today.


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
c/o H.E. Mr. Majid Takht Ravanchi
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
P.O. Box 20432
New York, NY 10017, USA

September 5, 2019

RE: Release Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali

Your Excellency:

I write again on behalf of the Scholars at Risk Network to express grave concern for Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a scholar of disaster medicine who was sentenced to death in October 2017. I understand from recent reports that on July 29, 2019, Dr. Djalali was unexpectedly transferred to an undisclosed location, where he was held in solitary confinement and allegedly subjected to torture before being returned to Evin Prison. I respectfully urge you to call on the appropriate authorities to immediately release Dr. Djalali.

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of more than 500 universities and colleges in 39 countries dedicated to protecting the human rights of scholars around the world, and to raising awareness, understanding of, and respect for the principles of academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of expression, opinion, thought, association, and travel. In cases like that of Dr. Djalali, involving alleged infringement of these freedoms, Scholars at Risk investigates hoping to clarify and resolve matters favorably.

SAR last wrote to you on May 3, 2018, seeking his release on medical parole, given his multiple, severe medical conditions and his need for regular medical treatment; and the reconsideration of his conviction. I write today to raise our gravest concerns regarding reports that, on July 29, 2019, Dr. Djalali had been blindfolded and transferred from Evin Prison to an isolated cell in an undisclosed location. SAR understands that Dr. Djalali was subjected to torture and that authorities have threatened to execute his death sentence in an apparent effort to force confessions from him. SAR understands that Dr. Djalali has since been transferred back to Evin Prison.

We welcome any additional information that may explain these events or clarify our understandings. Absent this, Dr. Djalali’s conviction, capital sentence, and new reports of torture and solitary confinement – in addition to the circumstances of his arrest and imprisonment – suggest a troubling disregard for international standards of academic freedom, due process, fair trial, and the humane treatment of prisoners, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party.

We therefore respectfully urge you to instruct the relevant authorities to immediately release Dr. Djalali and, pending such action, publicly disclose his whereabouts and ensure his well-being and access to legal counsel, family, and medical treatment.

We appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Robert Quinn

Executive Director

CC:

President Hassan Rouhani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Palestine Avenue, Pasteur St., Pasteur Sq.
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: media@rouhani.ir

The Honorable Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeisi
Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh
(Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. (south of Serah-e Jomhouri) Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@dadiran.ir

The Honorable Anna Segall
Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs, UNESCO
7 place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP, France
Fax: 33(0)1 45 68 55

The Honorable Michelle Bachelet
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Email:InfoDesk@ohchr.org
Fax: +41 22-917-9011

The Honorable Javaid Rehman
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Email: sr-iran@ohchr.org

The Honorable Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission
European Commission
Rue de la Loi, Wetstraat 200
1049 Brussels, Belgium
Email: federica.mogherini@ec.europa.eu

The Honorable Stefan Löfven
Prime Minister of Sweden
Rosenbad 4
SE 103 33
Stockholm, Sweden
Email: statsradsberedningen.registrator@gov.se

The Honorable Didier Reynders
Foreign Minister of Belgium
FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Rue des Petits Carmes 15 1000
Brussels, Belgium
Email: contact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
United States Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C St NW
Washington, DC 20520
United States of America

The Honorable Margot Wallström
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Herkulesgatan 17
SE 103 33
Stockholm, Sweden
Email: margot.wallstrom@gov.se

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