23 March 2018

The University of Copenhagen supports death sentenced scientist


The Rector of the University of Copenhagen has signed a letter to express concern for the death sentence issued against Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a scholar of disaster medicine.

Dr. Djalali was arrested in April 2016 in Iran as apparent retaliation for peacefully exercising the right to academic freedom.

Since June 2016, the University of Copenhagen has been an active member of Scholars at Risk (SAR) – and the university is fully devoted to the fight for academic freedom and human rights. SAR is an international network whose mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom internationally.

Read the letter from the Rector of the University of Copenhagen (PDF)

Although an Iranian national, Dr. Djalali has his permanent residence in Sweden. The Swedish government has granted him Swedish citizenship in hopes of getting access to their citizen.

Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali

Dr. Djalali is the father of two children, a researcher in disaster medicine, former PhD and research associate at the Karolinska Institute of Medicine and is also associated with the University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara, Italy and the Free University in Brussels, Belgium. His line of work consist of frequent international scientific collaboration.

During a visit to Iran in April 2016, Dr. Djalali participated in various workshops at universities in Teheran and Shiraz Iranian authorities arrested Dr. Djalali on allegations of “collaboration with hostile governments” and “acting against national security.” Dr. Djalali has been detained in Evin prison in Iran ever since.

On 21 October 2017, Iranian authorities sentenced Dr. Djalali to death with allegations of spying against the Iranian government. SAR asks for support in the form of letters, email or similar to the Iranian authorities in the hope of getting Dr. Djalali liberated and released. SAR is very concerned about the death penalty and calls on all member universities to contribute and give their support in this case. Amnesty International reported last year that Dr. Djalali was charged with the death sentence after a “grossly unfair trial.”

The University of Copenhagen has signed a letter to show their support and to emphasise their commitment to academic freedom, international relations and partnerships. The letter furthermore emphasises that the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to academic life and that everyone should have the right to academic freedom without the fear of tyranny or suppression and that it must be protected.

The University of Copenhagen is therefore respectfully asking partner universities, colleagues and all humanitarian organisations to intervene, urging the relevant authorities to reverse Dr. Djalali’s capital sentence immediately, secure his unconditional release from prison, drop all charges against him, and, pending this, to ensure his access to proper medical treatment.

Read the news article at www.amnesty.org, 12 December 2017
Iran: Upholding academic’s death sentence in secret shows utter contempt for right to life