Disaster medicine doctor, lecturer, and researcher
Sentenced to death on 21 October 2017, on the charge of “corruption on earth”. Charged of espionage and collaboration with Israel, the proof being an alleged letter from his spouse, which was said to contain evidence of the accusations
The 51-year-old specialist in emergency medicine was arrested in April 2016 while on a business trip from Sweden.
Amnesty International said Djalali was held at Evin prison by intelligence ministry officials for seven months, three of them in solitary confinement, before he was given access to a lawyer.
He alleged that he was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment during that period, including threats to kill or otherwise harm his children, who live in Sweden, and his mother, who lives in Iran.
In October 2017, a Revolutionary Court in Tehran convicted Djalali of “spreading corruption on Earth” and sentenced him to death. His lawyers said the court relied primarily on evidence obtained under duress and alleged that he was prosecuted solely because of his refusal to use his academic ties in European institutions to spy for Iran.
Two months later, Iranian state television also aired what it said was footage of Djalali confessing that he had spied on Iran’s nuclear programme for Israel. It suggested he was responsible for identifying two Iranian nuclear scientists who were killed in bomb attacks in 2010.
In February 2018, Sweden confirmed that it had given Djalali citizenship and demanded that his death sentence not be carried out. He had previously been a permanent resident.
In November 2021, Djalali’s wife, Vida Mehran-Nia, said he had been informed by prison authorities that he faced imminent execution. He spent five months in solitary confinement, awaiting execution, until April 2021, when he reportedly was moved to a multi-occupancy cell.
Just over a year later, an Iranian judiciary spokesman said Djalali’s death sentence was “final” and was “on the agenda” of authorities.
He also insisted that the case was not linked to the war crimes trial in Sweden of former Iranian judiciary official Hamid Nouri, who was sentenced to life in prison over what prosecutors said was his leading role in the mass executions of Iranian opposition supporters in 1988.
Djalali’s wife and human rights groups have said Djalali is a “hostage” who Iran is threatening to execute in an attempt to negotiate a swap for Mr Nouri.