Foreign Minister Didier Reynders on Tuesday called on the Iranian authorities not to execute Iranian-Swedish university professor Ahmadreza Djalali, whose death sentence was confirmed last weekend by the Supreme Court in Iran. “Together with my colleague Margot Wallstrom, I call on the Iranian authorities not to enforce the death penalty on Dr. Djalali,” Reynders said on his Twitter account. “The EU and its Member States firmly condemn and oppose the use of the death penalty in all its forms,” he added.
Djalali, a Sweden-based specialist in emergency medicine and a visiting professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB- Free University of Brussels), was arrested in April 2016 by the authorities in Iran, who accused him of being an agent for the Israeli secret service, Mossad. Tehran claimed he was linked to the murder of two officials of the Iranian nuclear programme killed by bombs stuck to their cars a few years ago.
The academic was sentenced to death on the 21st of October last year at the end of a trial judged unfair by four UN rapporteurs. The United Nations called on the Islamic Republic to overturn the death sentence immediately and set Djalali free. However, the sentence was confirmed in early December by the Iranian Supreme Court.
The death sentence was suspended following a new appeal by Djalali, but the Court turned down that appeal last weekend.