The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

UN asks Iran to rescind VUB professor death sentence

16:11 20/12/2017

The UN’s Human Rights Council has officially appealed to Iran to rescind the death sentence handed down to professor Ahmadrez Djalali in October. An Iranian national who resides in Sweden, the professor of disaster medicine is a regular lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

VUB has been one of the universities working to draw international attention to Djalali’s case. He was arrested in Iran last year when he was in the country attending workshops at universities in Tehran and Shiraz. The charge was “collaboration with scientists from foreign enemy states”.

“The execution of Dr Djalali must be immediately halted, and he must be released and accorded an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations,” the experts on the Human Rights Council said in a statement.

Iran releases ‘confession’

No formal charges were brought against Djalali for nearly 10 months, “and he was effectively prevented from exercising his right to challenge the legality of detention,” the statement said. “Furthermore, Dr Djalali’s rights to a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal and to an effective defence have been violated.”

The UN’s statement follows Iran’s release of a video at the weekend in which Djalali reads a confession stating that he assisted Israel with assassinating several Iranian scientists between 2010 and 2012. The video goes on to show an interview with Majid Jamali Fashi, and Iranian athlete who was put to death in 2012 for the same crime.

Djalali’s wife told Reuters that she had spoken to her husband, who told her he was promised a release from solitary confinement – where he has spent the last three months – if he read the confession.

Photo: VUB urges people around the world to retweet and share Ahmadrez Djalali’s photo
©Courtesy VUB/Twitter

Written by Lisa Bradshaw