Swedish-Iranian scientist convicted on ‘spurious’ charges of spying for Israel is near death after months of torture in an Iranian prison.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
United Nations independent human rights experts on Thursday called on Iran to immediately release an Iranian-Swedish academic who was convicted on trumped-up charges of “spying for Israel”.
Ahmadreza Djalali is reported to be in a “near death” condition after months of prolonged solitary confinement, the UN said in a statement released on its website.
“There is only one word to describe the severe physical and psychological ill-treatment of Djalali, and that is torture,” the experts said.
Djalali was sentenced to death in 2017 on spurious espionage charges after being arrested during a visit to Iran to attend workshops on disaster medicine. His conviction and sentence were based on a confession extracted under torture, and after an unfair trial, the UN said.
Iran accused Djalali of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate nuclear scientists and ordered his execution.
“Medical issues have prevented him from eating properly, resulting in dramatic weight loss … His situation is so difficult that he reportedly has trouble speaking. We are shocked and distressed by the cruel mistreatment.”
The experts said that Djalali’s case “is not an isolated incident” in Iran.
“His prolonged solitary confinement is emblematic of its systematic use to punish and pressurize detainees, including to make forced confessions, they added, reiterating that the practice is in violation of Iran’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the rights experts noted.
“We urge the Iranian Government, parliament and judiciary to halt the use of solitary confinement as a form of punishment and to impose a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition.”
Human rights and democratic rights organizations consistently rank Iran as having one of the worst records on human rights on the planet.
The Islamic Republic is known for suppressing free speech, jailing, torturing and executing those who question the rulers, and executing those who oppose the strict rule of Islamic law imposed by the ruling ayatollahs.
Last year, the U.S. State Department issued a report showing the Iranian government killed around 1,500 people and illegally detained over 8,600 others in response to anti-government protests in November 2019 when Iranians protested against government tyranny.
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