UN experts urge Iran to annul professor's death sentence

UN human rights experts appeal for Iran to annul death sentence given to university professor accused of passing information to Israel.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

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Flag of Iran

Four United Nations human rights experts on Friday launched a fresh appeal for Iran to annul the death sentence given to university professor Ahmadreza Djalali, accused of passing information to Israel, AFP reported.

Earlier this week, Iran's Supreme Court rejected a request to review Djalali's sentence.

"We urgently call on Iran to lift the death sentence imposed on Dr. Djalali, as the state has apparently not complied with its international obligations to give him a fair trial and the right to appeal," the experts said in a joint statement.

Djalali, a specialist in emergency medicine resident in Sweden, was detained in April 2016 after a brief visit to Iran.

He was found guilty in October of passing information about two Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel's Mossad intelligence agency that led to their assassinations.

The Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence against him in December. Amnesty International has urged Iran not to go ahead with the execution, saying the courts had "run roughshod over the rule of law" by sentencing Djalali to death.

The four experts include Jose Antonio Guevara Bermudez, who heads the UN working group on arbitrary detention and Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture.

Agnes Callamard, an expert on summary executions and Asma Jahangir, the special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, also co-signed the statement.

They renewed a call first issued in December for Djalali's immediately release.

Iranian state television in December aired what it described as the confessions of Djalali. In those “confessions”, the professor was linked to the assassination of four Iranian scientists between 2010 and 2012 that Tehran said was an Israeli attempt to sabotage its nuclear energy program.

The Islamic Republic, which is notorious for its executions, has in the past executed individuals it claimed to be “spies” for both Israel and the U.S.

In June of 2012, Iran claimed to have dismantled a terrorist and sabotage network in the southern city of Shiraz, which allegedly planned bombings and assassination attempts during Iran’s presidential election.

The network had links with the CIA, Israel and some neighboring Arab nations, Iran claimed at the time.

In a previous incident, Iran executed Majid Jamali Fashi after convicting him of spying for the Mossad and of playing a key role in the January 2010 assassination of a top nuclear scientist in return for a payment of $120,000.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)