An Iranian Swedish scientist, Ahmadreza Djalali, has been detained in Iran since April 2016, and received a death sentence last year.
Some media in Belgium, where Djalali previously worked at the Free University Brussels (VUB), and some other human rights groups, have been reporting that Djalali’s death sentence has now been “suspended”.
However, the IHEU understands from multiple sources close to the case that this is misreporting and no such suspension has occurred. We are not sure how or why the misreporting occurred.
Djalali remains in prison and there are grave concerns for his health and well-being.
His lawyer has requested a new appeal. However, the previous sentence has not been suspended in the interim.
An open letter has been sent by Ahmadreza Djalali to the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani. The letter describes various forms of unlawful action and procedure followed by investigators and the court in his case, including long stretches of solitary confinement, torture, denial of access to a lawyer, and that defense material was ignored or overlooked.
The letter further explains that an assassination plot cited against Djalali did not even occur in the timeframe that the prosecution case depends upon, but rather four months previously. Ahmadreza has never confessed or admitted to being a spy, nor to have cooperated with Mossad or other intelligence organizations as the prosecution claims.
The letter to the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, follows below:
This is Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been detained since April 2016 in the prison of Evin, and during this period of time has faced multiple illegal actions mostly done by the investigators from the Ministry of Intelligence. They firstly made a fabricated crime case for me, and then through influencing and pressuring the judiciary officials created a totally unfair and unjust trial and verdict against me. Furthermore, they fabricated and montaged a movie against me based on an interview where I was fully under threats and psychological pressure. They cut most of my own explanations and replaced it with a narrating voice who just said a list of lies, false accusations, and undocumented blames which were totally wrong and mostly contradictory. Afterwards, Tehran’s prosecutor, Mr. Dolatabadi, on the 25th of December 2017, referred to me as the spy of the Mossad intelligence service, in a speech which was also totally wrong, full of lies, undocumented and baseless.
Below, I express points of my case to clarify the situation, and sincerely ask you to help stop and repair this unfair and unjust process and help save an innocent life:
- In the past 20 months, I have numerously explained that I unintentionally made a mistake and trusted a person who introduced himself as a researcher from a disaster management company. He after revealed his real aim was looking for information about Iran, but my response to him was totally and clearly negative. Not only have I never done anything against my country, but instead have always helped my country from both scientific and technical aspects.
- As a strong reason that I’m innocent, the inspectors after 7 months of investigations and interrogations, decided with the request of the Ministry of Intelligence, and then exonerated me from the claus 286 of the Islamic punishment rules, which explains being seditious on ground through acting against national security. Claus 286 results in the death penalty and execution of the accused. The inspectors had declared that there is no reason and no document to blame me, Ahmadreza Djalali, for the Claus 286. However, 5 or 6 weeks after that, the bill of indictment was changed to the Claus 286 by Mr. Amin Naseri deputy of the Tehran prosecutor, who had never met me or talked to me to know the real situation.
- Contrary to the constitution and the judicial laws of Iran, I was not allowed to have an attorney until the 7th month of custody. During this period, the investigators kept me in solitary confinement and used various methods of physical intimidation and harm, psychological torture, threatened me through threats of arresting and harming my little children. Lastly, they swore in the name of God and on the holy Quran that they would release me if I confessed to the things they wanted me to confess. In the next step, the fabricated a false and baseless crime file against me but they were not satisfied with it and extended it to an analytical report full of lies, modifications, distortions of facts and at least 13 new additional false items that I had never been asked about during the investigations. This false and baseless report was prepared by the judge Salavati and the deputy of prosecutor, Amin Naseri, who blamed me for acting against national security and as a result I was convicted for the death sentence and execution. I have also presented a defense proposal of 300 pages with valid defense documents to reject the accusations, but the judge illegally not only didn’t care to take in consideration my defense and documents, but also didn’t mention them in the verdict.
- The primary courts verdict was approved by the Supreme Court in an unfair, unusually fast and unfair rapid process. It normally takes some months or more than a year for a death sentence to be reviewed and decided by the Supreme Court. For mine, it just took a few days, surprisingly my attorney and I were not informed when and which branch of the Supreme Court evaluated my case file and verdict and approved it. To keep the process secret and inaccessible to my attorney, my case was not registered in a computer, in the automation system of the Supreme Court. Therefore, we were not able to send my second defense proposal and other documents to the Supreme Court. Besides, something that remains a big question for me and others: how is it possible for two judges to carefully read a case that is around 500 pages including 300 pages of defense documents in English, and analyze these files and documents from legislation, technical, scientifical and human right aspects in a few days only?
- During the past 20 months, I have never ever confessed or accepted being a spy or even cooperating with Mossad or any other intelligence organizations. Also, there are no documents to approve the blames and accusations of the investigators against me. I have explained to the inspector and the judge that a few people who introduced themselves as researchers on disaster management from a European organization asked plenty of questions about medical data of a project in Iran that I was involved in long time ago. Not only was my reply to these people completely and clearly negative.
- I have never received any money from Mossad or any other organizations in respect of being a spy. The investigators made me write down and confirm that I have received 28 000 euros within 5 and a half year. This is like a joke for how absurd it is. A false accusation and forced confession from an international researcher.
- I have legally received a permanent residency of Sweden, based on the law that grants a residence permit to who graduates of PHD from a Swedish university. I have delivered relevant documents to the court and the Swedish government also approved that I got my residency through legal processes.
- The blame of a relation between me and the assassination of Dr. Ali Mohammadi and Dr. Shahriari are totally false and totally wrong. It was seen in the movie broadcasted in Iranian TV some weeks ago, that Dr. Ali Mohammadi was assassinated on January 12th, 2010, but the date of accusation against me is the spring of 2010. The time difference is of 3 or 4 months. How can I be related to an event 3 or 4 months after it occurred? Other documents also approve no relation between me and these assassinations. This is why I was not asked any questions about these events during the investigation and interrogation processes. The accusations occurred just in the report of the investigators. In fact this is a big and baseless lie fabricated by the investigators, and surprisingly the investigators mentioned an unbelievable reason for this blame and accusation. They said “Ahmadreza Djalali has told the investigators that he became very upset while he heard the news of the assassination, being so upset approves that he is guilty”. This was their reason.
- As my working resume and legal documents, for example tax clearance and retirement insurance confirm, I have never worked for or cooperated with Iran atomic energy organization. Therefore, I never had any access to any information about this organization to transfer to others. This is another big lie in my file.
- In respect of the ministry of defense, I had just two/three years of scientific and medical cooperation with the research and development project of this ministry from 2001 until 2003, because of my expertize in medical disaster management. Since 2004, I have had no cooperation with the ministry of defense and its projects, organizations etc. The only time was with a public medical institute where there was some radiation equipment for diagnosis and treatments of patients with cancer. Besides this clinical activity, it is active in the field of research, education of medicine and management of radiation emergency and disaster, nationwide from all parts of Iran.
On the basis of Iran’s rules and laws, if I worked with ministry of defense, I would be obligated have to stay in Iran and not allowed to have a passport, but everybody knows I was living in Europe for the past 10 years. There are plenty of other reasons and documents in my judicial file that reject this lie of me transferring information of the ministry of defense. Furthermore, in this respect, there are various public data and documents available for everybody. These documents approve the falsehood of the blame against me, since these documents are on public for the entire world and are not in any way connected to me.
- Making the computers contaminated and virus attack is also a new lie that was later added to my file. This false fabrication is fully rejected by the fact that the computers of the medical institute and relevant systems are blocked from being able to use a flash memory. It is not possible to use a flash memory to contaminate the computers, so how can this have been done. Surprisingly there is an obvious contradiction between the data of evaluating my flash memory in spring 2016 and the accusation of the date of contaminating that might be 5 or 6 years ago. How is this time difference acceptable? Furthermore the investigators were not able to show any documents to the court to prove their accusations, for example type of virus, the exact date and time of the virus, which system, etc., nothing at all.
- Another lie is about the data of 30 experts. This lie comes from distortion and alternation of my answers to their questions about the people who might be relevant to medical projects since 1997. Most of these people were medical doctors, nurse or health workers and about the rest of them, there is no scientifical, technical and working tie between me and them. I may just know the names of some of them, but have never met them at all.
Dear Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani,
Due to an illegal, unjust and non-Islamic process, I have received the death sentence. I am accused of being a seditious on ground, who acted against national security. The judge and the inspector haven’t cared about my reasons, they did not take under consideration my reasons, my defense proposal, nor the 300 pages of valid documents in my defense that reject the accusations. The blames are totally false and wrong. I have multiple times asked the court to call the technical experts and defense witnesses to clarify these issues and problems. Referencing to just to the investigators report that is free of any documents, but is full of lies, distortion and fabrication, it is completely against constitution, judicial laws, Islamic principles and human right laws. It is completely obvious that a group of people try to sacrifice my life because of their own political aims.
To prevent this event, I sincerely ask you to take my case under consideration as soon as possible, and order a team of experienced and neutral judge and technical experts to carefully evaluate my file and relevant documents, and report it to you and even report it openly to all the people in Iran and around the world. My innocence cannot be left unheard.
Dear Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, remember the holy Quran says killing an innocent person is the same as killing all the people in the world.
Ahmad Reza Djalali.