The International Science Council’s Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS) works to uphold and protect the freedoms that scientists should enjoy, and the responsibilities they carry, while engaging in scientific practice. This includes monitoring and responding to threats to scientific freedoms around the world, and providing assistance in such cases where intervention can provide relief and support the activities of other relevant actors.
CFRS has been monitoring the case of Iranian-Swedish scholar Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, who was sentenced to death by Iranian authorities in 2017. Dr Djalali was convicted and sentenced based on allegations that he had provided intelligence to Israeli authorities, but Djalali has repeatedly denied these allegations and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for his immediate release.
Four years on, Dr. Djalali’s situation is dire. His arrest, conviction and sentencing demonstrate a flagrant disregard for international standards of academic freedom, due process, fair trial, and humane treatment of prisoners. He continues to be denied access to medical care despite severely worsening health. He is denied access to his lawyer and family in Iran, and is barred from making calls to his wife and children in Sweden.
In monitoring this case, CFRS works closely with the US-based organization Scholars at Risk (SAR). SAR is an international network of academic institutions which together work to support and defend the principles of academic freedom and to defend the human rights of scholars around the world. This year, SAR has recognized Dr. Djalali with their prestigious Courage to Think Award for 2021. Dr. Djalali’s wife, Vida Mehrannia, will accept the award on his behalf at SAR’s virtual symposium, Free to Think 2021, on December 9 2021.
Dr. Djalali’s life depends on our collective action. Thank you for your help.
Call to Action
In honouring Dr. Djalali with the Courage to Think Award, SAR renews its calls for his immediate release. CFRS joins these calls and asks for the collective strength of the scientific community in helping Dr. Djalali and protecting scientific freedom around the world.
Now more than ever, the international higher education, scientific, and human rights communities must come together to demand Dr. Djalali’s release so he can finally reunite with his family and continue his important work. Together, SAR and CFRS would be grateful if you would consider taking the following actions:
- ➡ Forward this announcement to your networks.
- 📣 Raise awareness over social media by posting this tweet.
- 📣 Raise awareness over social media by creating your own tweet using #SaveAhmadreza and tagging @ScholarsAtRisk, @ISC, your minister of foreign affairs, and other relevant government officials.
- 🖊 Write to Iranian authorities as an organization or association, issuing a letter of appeal (see SAR’s template letter here).
- 🖊 Write to Iranian authorities as an individual by signing and sending SAR’s online letter of appeal.
- 🤝 Arrange a meeting with members of your government to raise Dr. Djalali’s case (see detailed instructions here).
- 🤝 Arrange a meeting with Iranian officials to call for Dr. Djalali’s release (see detailed instructions here).
See the ISC’s previous statements:
🟠 The ISC urges the Iranian authorities to suspend the capital sentence issued against Dr Djalali and to arrange for his immediate release – 1 December 2020. Read more
🟠 Statement on Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, currently incarcerated and sentenced to death in Iran – 29 August 2019. Read more
The ISC Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS)