Dr Ahmadreza Djalali has been under arrest in Iran since April 2016. The academic, who lives in Sweden, was sentenced to death in October 2017 on a charge of “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz). In February 2018, Iran’s Supreme Court rejected an application to review the decision. Dr Djalali has been denied adequate medical care for quite some time although it is strongly suspected that he is suffering from leukaemia. Furthermore, the Scholars at Risk network alleges that Iranian security forces have tortured him. Amnesty International also reports there have been efforts to force a confession.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation supports the calls by organisations such as Scholars at Risk and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) to set aside the death sentence and release the Swedish-Iranian academic without delay. Alarmed by news of plans to carry out the death sentence by 21 May, the HRK again appealed to Iran’s leadership to release him. An open letter from the President of the German Rectors’ Conference, Peter-André Alt, to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, can be read here (PDF).