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The appeal of the VUB teacher Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been sentenced to death in Iran, appears to have never been submitted by his lawyer, his wife states in a letter. With the expiry of the submission deadline, the execution of the death penalty seems increasingly inevitable. The VUB calls on politicians, diplomats, scientists and other citizens to strongly protest. Coming thursday 14th December from 6 pm a protest demonstration will be organized with Amnesty International in front of the Iranian embassy in Brussels.


Iranian born Swedish scientist Ahmadreza Djalali, who is held in Tehran since April 2016, and who is active in the field of disaster medicine, appealed last month against the death sentence received on 21st October 2017, after 19 months of imprisonment.


He asked his lawyer Mr. Daryabeighi to appeal within the allowed three weeks period, but this appeal never arrived at the Iranian Supreme Court. Ahmadreza, his family and colleagues were informed about this on December 9 2017, long after expiration of the deadline for submitting higher appeal. Colleague professor Gerlant van Berlaer: “The only explanation for this legal error is that Ahmadreza’s so-called lawyer is in league with Judge Salavati of the Iranian Revolutionary Court, who condemned Dr. Djalali to the death penalty after physical and psychological torture, in absence of a fair or public trial”.


Prof. dr. Djalali has found himself accused by the Iranian court of cooperation with hostile states and acting against Iranian national security, but no evidence was ever put on the table. Dr Gerlant van Berlaer: “It is clear that the only mistake that Prof Djalali - internationally respected by the scientific world - ever made, is that he worked with colleagues from different countries to improve the care of disaster victims, including in his own beloved homeland”.


Since Djalali’s unacceptable verdict, the Rectors and many colleagues from the Swedish Karolinska, the Italian UPO and the Belgian VUB universities, together with Amnesty International, are working together in order to safeguard the rights of this doctor. In the meantime, 268 000 people signed several petitions. Despite pressure on scientific and diplomatic level of Swedish, Belgian and Italian politicians, as well as European Commissioner Frederica Mogherini, Iran continues to violate Ahmadreza’s rights. Once more his colleagues call on all European and international authority figures to remind Iran of the international laws and standards, the declared rights of defense, and the unacceptability of the death sentence of an Iranian-European citizen who, until further notice, neither received a fair trial nor a fair defense.