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Statement: Release of Dr. Djalali

Both Amnesty International and Scholars at Risk currently report that the Swedish-Iranian academic Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been under arrest in Iran since April 2016, is facing imminent execution.


A member of the network Scholars at Risk, swissuniversities expresses great concern for these current developments. Due to the gravity of the situation, swissuniversities feels called upon to reiterate the fundamental values of academic freedom. They entail in particular the academic integrity of research and teaching, ensured by the freedom of thought and expression. These values are valid universally and build the cornerstones of higher education.


The facts as described demonstrate that Dr. Djalali’s arrest, conviction and sentencing suggest a flagrant disregard for international standards of academic freedom, due process, 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.


swissuniversities therefore supports the call of the Scholars at Risk network and numerous institutions of higher education to secure the immediate release of Dr. Djalali, and, pending such action, to ensure his well-being and access to legal counsel, family, and medical treatment.


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