VUB guest professor Djalali moved out of solitary, says Amnesty
Share article:
Share article:

VUB guest professor Djalali moved out of solitary, says Amnesty

Prof. Djalali. Family photo from Facebook.

Ahmadreza Djalali, the Swedish-Iranian professor who guested at the Free University (VUB) in Brussels, has been moved out of solitary confinement in Iran, according to Amnesty International.

Professor Djalali, an expert on disaster medicine, was arrested while visiting a conference in Iran in 2016 on charges of espionage. The charges were an invention, his supporters argue, trumped up after he refused to spy for Iran in the West. They also point out his trial, where he was sentenced to death, lacked even the most basic democratic protections.

Since then he has been imprisoned, and Amnesty has picked up his case.

Sweden, where he lives with his wife and family, granted him nationality. And the fact that he had been a guest professor at the VUB brought Brussels into the case. The rectors of both Brussels universities, ULB and VUB, have called for international action on his behalf.

Recently, it seemed as if the clouds were gathering. First, he was moved into solitary confinement, normally a precursor to execution. Then in December, it was announced he was being moved from Evin prison in Tehran to Rajaj Shar prison in Karaj, where executions are carried out.

However, the move was suspended by a judge, ostensibly to allow him one more contact with his family.

At the time, it appeared that Iran might be playing a game of chicken with the Belgian authorities, in connection with a trial taking place in Antwerp involving an Iranian diplomat accused of taking part in a plot to blow up a meeting of Iranian dissidents near Paris.

In the event, the trial ran its course, and the diplomat was convicted in absentia, though is unlikely ever to face justice. It seems unlikely that Iran, whatever its own internal system, does not understand that political pressure is of little weight in European justice systems.

Nonetheless, Amnesty now reports Djalali has been moved out of solitary after 20 weeks spent alone in a constantly lit cell for one in Evin prison.

We are somewhat relieved that this ends long-term solitary confinement, which was a form of torture,” Amnesty posted on Facebook.

Djalali is in bad shape. He must have again lost a lot of weight. He still faces the death penalty, to which he was sentenced after a manifestly unfair trial. And so we continue to campaign:”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Unfinished draft of new Astérix story discovered
The discovery of the unfinished draft of a cartoon album on the most famous of all Gauls, sketched by cartoonist René Goscinny, was announced by his ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...