Both Amnesty International and Scholars at Risk currently report that Swedish-Iranian academic Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, who has been under arrest in Iran since April 2016, is facing imminent execution on May 21, 2022.
In light of these current developments, swissuniversities as a member of the network Scholars at Risk is compelled to reiterate its original statement from December 10, 2020.
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 immediately halt the planned execution of Dr. Djalali and to secure his release. Pending such action, his well-being and access to legal counsel, family, and medical treatment must be guaranteed.