The imprisoned Swedish-Iranian doctor Ahmad Reza Jalali is to be executed by May 21, Iranian state-controlled media reported today.
ISNA News Agency, quoting "informed sources", says the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence issued against him after a grossly unfair trial in 2017 and it will be carried out by the end of the current Persian calendar month.
Dr. Jalali, a university lecturer and expert in disaster medicine, was arrested in his country of birth in 2016. Intelligence agents first asked him to spy for Iran; when he refused, he was tortured into giving a forced confession to spying for Israeli Mossad, which then aired on state TV.
The Iranian regime and judiciary holds - in public - that Dr. Jalali helped identify targets in Iran's nuclear program for assassination by Israel. Those who know him and campaign for his release say he is being held hostage.
The news came days after hearings ended in the criminal trial of Hamid Nouri, an ex-jailer accused of playing a key role in Iran's 1988 prison massacre, at Stockholm District Court in Sweden. Prosecutors there have asked for the maximum sentence for Nouri.
In its report on Jalali's sentencing, ISNA suggested the Swedish government had detained Nouri purely for the purpose of a future prisoner swap, writing: "Analysts say that by executing Ahmad Reza Jalali's sentence, the Iranian government will deprive the Swedish government of the possibility of another similar action, while enforcing a binding judicial sentence."
Since 2020, former colleagues, family members and others involved in the case have expressed grave concern for Dr. Jalali's failing health. He underwent abdominal surgery in January and was returned to Evin Prison the next day.
Over his six years of incarceration, Ahmad Reza Jalali's name has been raised multiple times at the level of the UN and European Union. The Swedish government conferred citizenship of that country on him in 2018.