VUB visiting professor dr Djalali may be transferred today to a prison where executions take place

VUB visiting professor dr Djalali may be transferred today to a prison where executions take place

The Iranian judge supervising the death sentence of VUB visiting professor Dr Ahmadreza Djalali has said that the authorities ‘ordered’ Dr Djalali to be transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj local Iranian time today, 1 December, and to carry out the execution. The same judge informed Dr Djalali’s lawyer today that he would be allowed one last visit from his family before he is executed.

Last Tuesday, Dr Djalali was placed in solitary confinement at Evin prison in Tehran. He then received the message that he would soon be executed and said goodbye to his wife, Vida Mehrannia, by telephone. Executions are usually not carried out in Evin prison, but in prisons in the wider area, such as Karaj.

A transfer of Professor Djalali to Karaj prison is a matter of great concern to us. After solitary confinement, this could be another step closer to execution. Amnesty International and VUB are urging the political world, at Belgian, European and international level, to contact the Iranian authorities immediately and call for the revocation of the death penalty and the release of Dr Djalali,” says Wies De Graeve, director of Amnesty International Vlaanderen.

"We have activated all contacts with our Flemish, Belgian, European and international partners, including the upcoming American government. It's now up to them to use strong words. The fate of Ahmadreza is in their hands. We ourselves have really done everything we can to save his life. Iran needs to be told from all corners of the world that the execution of Ahmadreza is unacceptable,"said Caroline Pauwels, rector of the VUB where Professor Djalali was a guest lecturer.


Swedish-Iranian doctor Ahmadreza Djalali specialises in disaster medicine and was arrested and accused of espionage during a working visit to Iran in 2016. For the first 10 days, no one knew where he was being held. At the end of October 2017, he was sentenced to death following a manifestly unfair trial. He was forced to confess through psychological torture and spent the first three months of his detention in solitary confinement. His lawyer was not allowed to visit him until seven months after his arrest.

Worldwide, Iran is second only to China in terms of the number of executions carried out. In 2019, Iran executed at least 251 people. The country also organises public executions and executes juvenile offenders.


VUB is calling on its community to support Amnesty International’s action en masse, thus increasing pressure on the Iranian authorities.


If you have any questions, please contact the press service of Amnesty International Vlaanderen on 0486 75 55 10

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