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Photo © Kevin Van den Panhuizen /

Disaster doctor and VUB guest lecturer Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death in Iran by a court without due process. On Friday 27 October at 13:00 the Vrije Universiteit (VUB) will organise a major protest lecture against this. The meeting will take place on the Brussels Health Campus, Laarbeeklaan 103 in Jette, in the Auditorium Brouwer. The VUB calls on the entire community to make their protest loud and clear. To cater to the expected influx of people, the meeting will be live streamed in the adjacent room. Amnesty International Vlaanderen, partnering with VUB against the death sentence, has put up an online petition in suppport of Djalali.


Rector Caroline Pauwels of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) insists that all politicians, business leaders, artists and scientists should use their channels to help secure the release of Djalalali. “Those who have relations with Iran, in particular, can help even more to achieve a just and fair treatment of Ahmadreza Djalalali.”


During the protest action, which starts Friday 27 October at 1 pm, Caroline Pauwels, colleagues Gerlant Van Berlaer and/or Ives Hubloue of Ahmadreza Djalali, director Amnesty International Vlaanderen Wies De Graeve and professor Jean Jacques Amy will address the crowd. Jean Jacques Amy’s will do it in the form of a protest lecture that takes the place of the lecture he was intended to give as part of the “Calewaert van” Chair. The original topic has now been turned into a protest lecture against the death sentence for Ahmadreza Djalali.


Sign the petition
Amnesty International Vlaanderen also put up an online petition against the death sentence of Djalali, asking for it to be abolished immediately. Please sign the petition here


Imprisoned for over a year
Ahmadreza Djalalali has been locked up in the Evin prison in Tehran since April 2016.  He obtained his PhD in Sweden in Disaster Medicine. Djalali was found “guilty of collaborating with a hostile state” by the notorious judge Salivati after one and a half years of sinister imprisonment. The judge then pronounced the death penalty. 


According to Djalalali’s wife, Vida Mehrannia, her husband has been accused of cooperation with Israel, for which he is said to have raised many millions of euros. According to Vida Mehrannia, his appointments to universities and his projects were solely due to this cooperation, according to the judge. She tells us that she and the family are suffering tremendously following the news of the death penalty. They are asking for as much help as possible.


Unfair trial
Djalali has not had a fair trial. It took place in the revolutionary courtyard behind closed doors. There are no written accounts of the trial, nor even anything in writing of the sentencing. The final decision of the judge has clearly not been based on proper procedure.


Rector Caroline Pauwels wants to do everything possible to improve the situation for Djalalali. “We insist on a fair trial. The verdict of the judge – who is known to be one of Iran’s strictest judges - is merciless and horrific. We are going to step up pressure, through diplomatic channels, through political, scientific, and public opinion,  to ensure he is given a fair trial.”