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VUB professor faces execution in Iran

© Dirk Waem/Belga

Amnesty International has expressed concern about the latest move in the imprisonment of the emergency doctor and guest lecturer at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) Ahmadreza Djalali, currently imprisoned in Iran.

According to Amnesty, Djalali has been moved to solitary confinement, which is a step which usually precedes an execution. “This man is one of the many victims of the repressive Iranian regime,” the organisation said.

Djalali was on a working visit to Iran in 2016 when he was arrested and imprisoned on charges of espionage. He was tried in 2017 and sentenced to death.

He was convicted after a manifestly unfair trial because he refused to spy for the Iranian authorities,” said director of Amnesty International Flanders, Wies De Graeve.

He was not give the chance to defend himself at the trial.

Yesterday he made a phone call to his wife, to tell her he was being moved to solitary confinement, Amnesty said. That is considered to be the last step before execution.

Supporters in Belgium and the rest of Europe will again lobby political representatives on the case, to try to avoid what appears to be the foregone conclusion.

With the change of power in the US, this is a very strange moment to proceed with the execution, but perhaps that change of power is also causing nervousness in Iran,” said fellow VUB lecturer and friend Gerlant Van Berlaer.

Iran is using it as a bargaining chip, to do something about frozen funds in Europe, among other things.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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