European University EUTOPIA calls for increased pressure for release of Dr Djalali from Iranian prison

European University EUTOPIA calls for increased pressure for release of Dr Djalali from Iranian prison

Today is International Human Rights Day

The EUTOPIA alliance is supporting the actions of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to secure the release of its guest professor Dr Ahmadreza Djalali from prison in Iran, where he has been held since 2016. EUTOPIA is an alliance consisting of the University of Gothenburg, CY Cergy Paris Université, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, University of Warwick, University of Ljubljana and VUB. EUTOPIA was officially recognised as a European University by the European Commission in 2019.

The universities are sending a joint statement to the Iranian embassies in their country –  Belgium, Sweden, France, Spain, the UK and Slovenia – asking the Iranian authorities to review Dr Djalali’s case and release him. They are also sending it to their respective governments and to the EU, urging them to continue the political and diplomatic efforts to secure Dr Djalali’s release. The universities also call on their community to actively support Amnesty International’s #SaveAhmadreza campaign.

One of the core values of EUTOPIA is to prepare its students and staff to be European citizens, acting with care for the future of our planet and humanity. Professor Djalali’s terrible fate is therefore a threat to everything EUTOPIA stands for: academic freedom, human rights and human dignity. So we are very happy to count on the support of our network to continue to demand his release,” says rector Caroline Pauwels.


EUTOPIA Statement


The EUTOPIA alliance and its six-member universities: CY Cergy Paris Université, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, University of Gothenburg, Univerza v Ljubljani, the University of Warwick and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), call on the Iranian government to act urgently to release Swedish citizen, VUB guest lecturer Dr Ahmadreza Djalali from his imprisonment and death sentence.

The EUTOPIA Alliance welcomes the Iranian government’s recent release from prison of the University of Melbourne academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert and asks that the same clemency be applied to Dr Ahmadreza Djalali.

Dr Djalali is attached to VUB and the Università Degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale in Italy as a guest lecturer, and an alumnus of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.  We ask the Iranian government to review his case urgently, and to act with mercy and a respect for academic freedom by releasing him from his charges and the risk of imminent execution.

Our Alliance asks the Belgian, French, Spanish, Slovenian, Swedish, UK and European authorities to support actively our appeal to the Iranian government and to press for the immediate release of Dr Djalali through all diplomatic and political channels. We thank all of the political leaders and diplomats, and many colleagues and volunteers, who are already actively pressing for Dr Djalali’s release.

Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor, University of Gothenburg, Chair EUTOPIA alliance

François Germinet, President, CY Cergy Paris Université

Caroline Pauwels, Rector, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Igor Papič, Rector, Univerza v Ljubljani

Jaume Casals, Rector, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Warwick



EUTOPIA is an alliance of six leading, like-minded European universities committed to creating a connected and inclusive community to address local and global challenges. The aim is to contribute to a new model of higher education in Europe. The alliance is made up of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), CY Cergy Paris Université (France), Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona (Spain), University of Warwick (United Kingdom) and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). EUTOPIA brings together more than 165,000 students, 30,000 staff, research centres in 760 areas of knowledge, and 90,000 international alumni in six countries.

Contact us
Lies Feron
Lies Feron Persrelaties Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Lies Feron
Lies Feron Persrelaties Vrije Universiteit Brussel
About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel