Iran warns of ‘interference’ now execution of VUB professor D …

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Amnesty International fears that the imprisoned Iranian-Swedish emergency doctor Agmadreza Djalali will be executed soon. After Swedish pressure, Iran warns against interference.

The Iranian-Swedish scientist and guest lecturer at the VUB, Ahmadreza Djalali, is threatened to be executed within a week. Amnesty International reports this on the basis of a letter from the Iranian authorities. On Tuesday, Djalali phoned his wife to say goodbye. He was placed in solitary confinement and a transfer to Karaj prison was planned. There are executions carried out.

‘That is very alarming,’ says Wies De Graeve, director of Amnesty International Flanders. ‘We call on policymakers to comment on this matter as soon as possible. It’s urgent. ‘

The cabinet of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès (MR) does not want to respond for the time being. Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said yesterday that she had made a telephone call to her Iranian counterpart to prevent the death penalty from being carried out. Djalali is a Swedish citizen.

Iran now responds openly: “The Iranian judiciary is independent,” said the spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Any interference in the execution of judicial decisions is rejected as unacceptable.” According to the Iranians, the Swedes’ information about Jalali’s situation is “incomplete and wrong.” “He’s been incarcerated for committing security crimes.”

‘Major concerns’

Djalali has been in an Iranian cell for more than four years after being convicted in October 2017 of cooperating with enemy states and activities against Iranian national security. It was a mock trial, without hard evidence. But despite fierce international criticism, his death sentence was never revoked.

In recent years, there have been several worrying signs about Djalali’s fate. The new messages set off all alarm bells. ‘We are very concerned,’ says his colleague Gerlant Van Berlaer. He works as an emergency doctor at UZ Brussel. “Although we don’t know why Iran has now made this decision.”

In a conversation with our newspaper, Vida Mehrannia, the wife of Djalali, recently expressed her suspicion that her husband is “a leverage for some vital economic deals and for a number of prisoners in European cells to be reduced or released.”

On Friday, a trial will start against an Iranian diplomat who is in prison here. It is not clear whether the two things are linked.

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