Ca' Foscari joins the plea for the release of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali

Ca’ Foscari University of Venice is joining the Conference of Italian University Rector - CRUI and the italian division of SAR - Scholars at Risk - to demand the release of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, an expert in Disaster Medicine, sentenced to death in his home country of Iran, where he has been unlawfully detained for the past three years, after being accused of espionage based on unsubstantiated allegations.

Djalali, who also taught at the University of Piemonte Orientale in Novara (Italy), was arrested in 2016, while he was taking part in a series of seminars in Teheran.
After the requests advanced by his lawyers for a just revision of his case, in 2018 he was sentenced to death, without the possibility of making any appeals.

The researcher has also suffered from serious health complications, as well as being at high-risk for leukemia. Despite these severe conditions, authorities have repeatedly denied him proper medical care.

“Dr. Djalali’s arrest and sentencing suggest a flagrant disregard for international standards of academic freedom, fair trial, and humane treatment of prisoners”, states CRUI’s letter addressed to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Ca’ Foscari joins the plea for the immediate release and the suspension of the death sentence for this esteemed member of the international academic community: Ahmadreza - as stressed in CRUI’s declaration - has the right to see his wife and children, who are waiting for him in Sweden, he has the right to receive the medical attention he requires and it’s imperative he gets assigned competent legal counsel for a just trial.

Here below is the letter written by the Conference of Italian University Rectors to Ayatollah Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran.

Obj: Halt execution and release Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali

Your Excellency,

I am writing on behalf of the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI), to express the grave concern of the Italian academic system for the well-being of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish scholar of disaster medicine at imminent risk of execution. Dr. Djalali teaches at universities in Belgium, Sweden, and Italy (Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale).

We understand from Amnesty International and Scholars at Risk (SAR) that Iranian authorities arrested Dr. Djalali in April 2016 and recently put him in solitary confinement and are preparing to carry out his death sentence at any moment. Dr. Djalali has been denied the right to appeal his conviction and sentence. He was arrested for “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz), based on unsubstantiated allegations that he had provided intelligence to the Israeli authorities.
He has suffered from a number of severe medical complications, and he is also suspected of being at high-risk of leukemia. Despite these complications, we understand that authorities have repeatedly denied Dr. Djalali proper medical care.

Absent additional information, the facts as described suggest that Dr. Djalali’s arrest and sentencing suggest a flagrant disregard for international standards of academic freedom, fair trial, and humane treatment of prisoners, as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party.

CRUI respectfully urge you to call on the appropriate authorities to suspend the capital sentence issued against Dr. Amadreza Djalali, to secure his release, and to ensure his well-being and access to legal counsel, family, and medical treatment.

We appreciate your attention to his important matter and look forward to your reply.
Sincerely yours,
Ferruccio Resta
President of the Conference of Italian University Rectors

Francesca Favaro