Extremely disturbing, says Sweden’s foreign minister, is a report that Iran aims to kill this month an Iranian-Swedish doctor convicted of spying.
Ahmadreza Djalali, 50, is expected to be executed by 21 May, according to reports from Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency.
On behalf of Sweden and the EU, Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted that Djalali must be freed.
In 2016, an emergency medicine doctor was detained and accused of espionage for Israel while on a work trip.
The next year, a Revolutionary Court in Tehran condemned him to death after a trial that human rights organizations deemed to be severely unjust.
Djalali claims he was tortured and abused before being compelled to “confess,” including threats to hurt or murder his children, who now reside in Sweden with their mother.
According to him, his criminal charges were brought against him because he refused to spy for Iran while working as a professor at a European school of higher learning.
Djalali’s execution sentence was set to be carried out at Tehran’s Evin prison in November 2020. Prison officials put him on death row for five months and then transferred him to another cell with other prisoners.
Djalali’s execution is expected to take place before the end of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht [21 May] at the earliest, according to a report from Isna on Wednesday.
There was no quick reaction from the Iranian courts or official media to the news.
Iran Human Rights, a Norwegian advocacy organization, claims that Iranian authorities have threatened to kill Djalali “in retribution” for the conclusion on Wednesday of the war crimes trial of former Iranian judicial officer Hamid Nouri in Sweden.
Under the basis of universal jurisdiction, Swedish authorities requested the arrest of Mr. Nouri at Stockholm’s airport in 2019.
In 1988, he was accused of participating in the killing of tens of thousands of political detainees in Iran. He was subsequently charged with war crimes and violations of human rights.
Mr. Nouri has disputed the claims and argued that they are the result of a misunderstanding of identification on the part of the accuser.
On July 14, the court will announce the judgment. If convicted, he may face a sentence of up to and including life in jail.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reportedly urged Mr. Nouri’s quick release and labeled the trial “illegal” in a phone chat with Ms. Linde on Wednesday, according to Iranian state TV.