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UPDATE: Ahmadreza Djalali is a professor who was arrested and has been threatened with the death penalty for suspected espionage in Iran. He teaches at the European Master in Disaster Medicine (EMDM) in Italy, a joint master by the Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. A petition has been started against the possible execution.
The 45-year-old Djalali was arrested in April 2016 in Iran, while he was visiting his family. He spent no less than seven months in isolation, without ever getting a trial or seeing a lawyer.
‘Since Wednesday some bad news has come to light’, says De Morgen. ‘Djalali told his sister he has been forced to sign a confession, for which he will receive the death penalty. The Iranian governement is calling it a matter of national security. They blame him for collabaration with scientist from foreign, enemy states.
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Meanwhile a petition was started via www.change.org and it has been signed more than 185.000 times up to now.
Amnesty International has also been involved and more than a few prominent Iranians are supporting the petition. Djalali has a wife and two children.
Rector Caroline Pauwels calls to action. “A scientist performing important humanitarian work, gets sentenced without public trial and is looking at the death penalty”, she says. “This is an outrageous violation of universal human rights, against which we should react decisively.”