Iran: Judge Threatens Jailed Scientist on Hunger Strike with Death Penalty
Ahmadreza Jalali, an Iranian medical scientist and a resident of Sweden, has been on hunger strike in Evin Prison’s ward 7 since Sunday December 25, 2016. An Iranian judge has reportedly threatened him with the death penalty sentence.
“Ahmadreza Jalali’s life is in danger. We are calling on the European Union, especially the Swedish government, to make efforts to help save Mr. Jalali’s life, because with such cases, international pressure is the only way,” says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.
On Tuesday January 31, Abolghassem Salavati, the judge in branch 15 of the revolutionary court in Tehran, reportedly announced to Ahmadreza Jalali that he will be issued the death penalty sentence. Mr. Jalali has reportedly been accused of “working with hostile governments”, although he has not yet attended a court hearing or been officially charged by the Iranian authorities.
Ahmadreza Jalali had travelled to Iran on an official invitation from the University of Tehran. He was arrested on April 24, 2016 by Ministry of Intelligence agents, while driving to Karaj. He endured three months in the Ministry of Intelligence detention centre, then he was transferred to Tehran’s Evin Prison.
“Salavati has told Ahmadreza that his sentence is execution and that this will not change, so therefore he should break his hunger strike. He also told Ahmadreza that he doesn’t have the right to bring his current lawyer to the future court hearing, that he should select a new lawyer or they will appoint him one. They want Ahmadreza with a lawyer who will not defend his case,” Vida Mehrania, the wife of Mr. Jalali, tells Iran Human Rights.
“Based on what I know from what Ahmadreza and his lawyer, there is no evidence against him to show that he had relations with other governments. I have been informed that he has been accused of cooperation with enemy states, but Ahmadreza has denied this charge. As a result, he has been on hunger strike since [more than] more 40 days ago.”