Scientists campaigning for the protection and freedom of academics have called for the immediate release of Ahmad Reza Jalali, an Iranian scientist with Swedish residency who faces the death sentence in Iran.
Jalali was arrested on April 24, 2016, just three days before he was to return home after a scheduled visit to Tehran University at the university’s invitation. He was convicted in October 2017 on charges of “collaborating with an enemy state” and accused of spying for Israel.
The scientist, who is a disaster relief expert, was given 21 days to appeal. But as Scholars at Risk, an international network of scientists and institutions, and the Committee of Concerned Scientists, a US-based group also calling for his release, point out, there is evidence that the appeals process was a sham, and that no appeal was registered at Iran’s supreme court.
Writing to the Committee of Concerned Scientists, Jalali’s wife said that after the appeal was upheld on December 8, she discovered that her husband’s lawyer, Dabir Daryabeigi, had links with the judiciary and Judge Abolghasem Salavati, the judge presiding over his case in the Revolutionary Court — a judicial authority who has been repeatedly criticized for violating the human rights of defendants.
According to Scholars at Risk, Jalali’s initial lawyer was rejected, and the court appointed Daryabeigi to handle his case. But Jalali’s wife has discovered that Daryabeigi never filed any appeal with the court.
In addition to urging Iranian officials to release Jalali immediately and to honor his right to due process, the group has called for an immediate investigation into the judicial misconduct of his trial.
“We ask scientists and scholars worldwide to immediately protest this egregious violation of accepted judicial norms and Dr. Jalali’s rights,” a statement by the Committee of Concerned Scientists stated. “There can be nothing more sinister than a death sentence imposed on a medical doctor who devoted his life to saving the lives of others.”
Sign the Scholars at Risk appeal to free Ahmad Reza Jalali