Iranian researcher Ahmadreza Djalali, visiting professor at ULB in Brussels, was imprisoned on 26 April, 2016 in Teheran where he was convicted of espionage and sentenced to death on fabricated charges. Photos obtained by his colleague at ULB shows a very thin man. “Ahmadreza is barely recognizable. He is skinny and looks dying,” says Dr. Gerlant Van Berlaer.
Djalali taught disaster medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and was a visiting professor in Brussels. In October 2017, he was sentenced to death despite protests by the European Union and Western countries.
Sweden has granted Djalali citizenship to be able to provide him more assistance and in the hope of seeing the death sentence revoked by Iran. However, Iran does not recognize double citizenship.
“It’s an Iranian strategy,” says Van Berlaer. “They don’t dare to execute the death sentence for fear of damaging the economic ties with Europe. Djalali isn’t released so that the court and the intelligence service in Iran won’t lose face. The situation is blocked and he is languishing in his cell.”
“We call on all politicians, but also businessmen, to continue to plead for his release with their Iranian contacts,” Van Berlaer says.
“As long as there is hope, you will live, and as long as you live, our hope and fights remain. Until you are free, ” he wrote to him in February.