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Statement on Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, currently incarcerated and sentenced to death in Iran

Professor Daya Reddy, President of the International Science Council (ISC) and Chair of its Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science, has issued the following statement:

The International Science Council is greatly concerned about the treatment of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a physician, lecturer and internationally renowned expert in disaster medicine and emergency response, currently being held in Iran.

The International Science Council advocates for the free and responsible practice of science – fundamental to global scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being.  Such practice requires freedom of movement, association, expression and communication by scientists.

Dr Djalali, a dual Iranian-Swedish citizen, was arrested in April 2016 while visiting Iran, at the invitation of the University of Tehran and Shiraz University, to take part in a series of workshops about best practices in disaster medicine. He has since been convicted on espionage charges and given a death sentence. Dr. Djalali’s state of health has deteriorated significantly in recent months and he is in urgent need of specialist medical attention.

Many scientists, academics, Nobel laureates, and international organisations, including the International Science Council, have advocated on Djalali’s behalf to appeal for his release.

Science is an increasingly global endeavour driven by the need to understand and address major global social and environmental issues that civilization depends on for its survival. Having travelled to Iran to engage in scientific work aimed at addressing the major challenges that accompany disasters, Dr. Djalali’s incarceration prevents him from making any contribution to the area of disaster medicine, in which he has much to contribute.

The International Science Council respectfully urges that Dr. Djalali be released from prison on humanitarian grounds without delay, to enable him to obtain all needed medical care and treatment and return to his family.

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