UN human rights experts demanded Thursday that Iranian authorities put an end to the torture of Iranian-Swedish scientist and academic Ahmadreza Djalali and called for his immediate release from custody due to the critical condition of his health.

Djalali, who was charged with espionage while visiting Iran to attend workshops on disaster medicine, was detained arbitrarily and arrested on April 25, 2016. Djalali was sentenced to death in October 2017 and was transferred to solitary confinement last November. UN experts, including numerous Special Rapporteurs on human rights, extrajudicial executions, and torture, have repeatedly urged Iranian authorities to release Djalali and have said that the spurious charges against Djalali were based upon forced confessions extracted under torture.

In their most recent plea to the Iranian government, UN human rights experts noted that “Djalali’s situation is truly horrific. He has been held in prolonged solitary confinement for over 100 days with the constant risk of his imminent execution laying over his head,” adding that prison guards have been depriving him of sleep by shining bright lights in his cell 24 hours a day. In addition, Djalali’s medical conditions are reportedly preventing him from eating properly, resulting in dangerous weight loss.

The UN experts reminded the Iranian government that their actions are in violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and added that this type of torture is emblematic of Iran’s systemic use of torture to force confessions:

There is only one word to describe the severe physical and psychological ill-treatment of Djalali, and that is torture. … We denounce the actions of the Iranian authorities in the strongest terms, as well as their complete inaction despite our constant calls for him to be immediately released. The allegations against him are completely baseless and he should be allowed to return to his family in Sweden as soon as possible.

Source » jurist