Urgent Action Update: Iranian-Swedish Doctor at Risk of Execution (Iran: UA 38.17)

November 29, 2020

On 24 November, Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali learned that prosecution authorities ordered for his death sentence for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) to be carried out. In a brief phone call the same day to his wife, he said he had been transferred to solitary confinement in section 209 of Evin prison in Tehran. He is at imminent risk of execution.



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Head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi
c/o Majid Takht Ravanchi

Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 687-2020 I Fax: 212 867 7086
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Iran_UN
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Mr Raisi,

On 24 November 2020, at the prosecutor’s office of Evin prison Ahmadreza Djalali, his family and lawyer were told that the prosecution authorities had issued an order to the office for implementation of sentences instructing for Ahmadreza Djalali’s death sentence to be carried out. Officials at the prosecutor’s office did not specify the execution date but said that the sentence will be carried out within a week, or no later than 1 December. Ahmadreza Djalali was subsequently transferred to solitary confinement in section 209 of Evin prison. On the same day, he told his wife who resides in Sweden (in a phone call lasting less than two minutes) this news and that he would be transferred to Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj for the implementation of his sentence. This was also his first phone call to his family since mid-October 2020. Prison authorities had blocked his phone access citing orders by the Ministry of Intelligence to the prosecution authorities after he conducted an interview with a media outlet abroad. Based on information available to Amnesty International, the prosecution authorities said on 24 November that Ahmadreza Djalali’s death sentence should be carried out as all avenues for appeal, judicial review or pardon had been exhausted.

Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) in October 2017 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The court relied primarily on “confessions” that Ahmadreza Djalali says were obtained under torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in prolonged solitary confinement without access to a lawyer. These included threats to execute him, kill or otherwise harm his children (who live in Sweden), and his mother (who lives in Iran). Amnesty International has consistently held that that the offense of “corruption on earth” fails to meet requirements for clarity and precision needed in criminal law and breaches the principle of legality and legal certainty. On 9 December 2018, his lawyers learned that Branch 1 of the Supreme Court had upheld his death sentence without granting them an opportunity to file their defense submissions on his behalf. I ask you to immediately halt plans to execute Ahmadreza Djalali, quash his conviction and sentence, and immediately provide him access to his family and lawyers. Pending his release, ensure also that Ahmadreza Djalali is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and order a prompt, independent, effective, and impartial investigation into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment.

Yours sincerely,