We, the undersigned, are compelled to express our outrage at the arrest, conviction, and sentencing of Iranian professor Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been detained since April 2016 by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was accused of espionage and, following a closed trial, sentenced to death on October 20, 2017.

The 45-year-old professor, who taught at the European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) in Italy—a joint master’s program of the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel—was arrested in April 2016 in Tehran on charges of “collaboration with a hostile government” while he was visiting his family. Djalali was later accused of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists. Amnesty International reports that Djalali’s lawyers were told on Saturday, December 9, 2017, that the Supreme Court had considered his case and upheld his October 24 sentence in a secret process without allowing them to file defense submissions.

We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide and the undersigned consider this arbitrary sentence a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of an academic who is clearly a victim of a political witch hunt — arrested without cause, held for months in solitary confinement and without access to a lawyer, and subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide and the undersigned deplore this unjustified verdict in the strongest terms and ask all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to strongly protest and condemn this arbitrary sentence, to call for Professor Djalali’s immediate and unconditional release, and to urge the officials of the Iranian government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties.
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