Iran says it is reviewing a request for a Swedish doctor’s death sentence

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Iran said this week it was reviewing a request for the execution of a Swedish-born Iranian educator convicted of espionage.

The case of Ahmad Reza Jalali, a disaster medicine doctor, has drawn widespread international condemnation and sheds light on the pattern of arresting dual Iranian citizens on false charges, often for political gain.

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry said Monday that Jalali’s death sentence was “final.”

Jalali, 50, was arrested by Iranian authorities in 2016 while traveling to Tehran for a conference. Officials have accused him of spying for Israel’s Mossad, which leaked details of the 2010 killing of two Iranian nuclear scientists.

He was sentenced to death by a judge after his lawyers forced him to confess. A panel of UN experts said in March that Jalali had been subjected to “severe physical and mental abuse” in prison that amounted to torture.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement calling on Iran to suspend the death penalty and withdraw its death sentence, calling it an “arbitrary deprivation of life.”

“It’s a nightmare,” Jalali’s wife, Vida Mehrania, told the Associated Press last week from Stockholm, where she lives with their two children.

“For the politics of other countries, we are suffering,” he said.

The news comes amid growing tensions between Iran and Sweden over Stockholm’s decision to arrest and prosecute an Iranian official accused of murder and war crimes.

Swedish authorities arrested Hamid Nouri, a former judicial officer in Stockholm in 2019, and charged him in 1988 with his alleged role in the genocide of dissidents in Iran.

The landmark case ended on May 4 and a verdict is expected in July Iran has denied any involvement in the two cases and has refused to exchange prisoners.

But Iranian officials have condemned Nouri’s trial as “politicized” and led by “hypocrites.” Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi was a member of the Judicial Commission that oversaw the execution of the charges against Nouri.

In April, Sweden’s foreign ministry issued a new warning warning its citizens against all unnecessary travel to Iran, citing the “security situation”.

“Foreign travelers may be arbitrarily detained and tried without explicit reason,” the statement said.

A few days after the warning was issued, the ministry confirmed that a Swedish man had been detained in Iran.

Jalali was a Swedish resident at the time of his arrest, but Sweden granted him full citizenship in 2018 as part of an effort to secure his release. In recent years, Iran has reduced the death sentences of several dual nationals, including the Iranian-American Amir Hekmati, in 2014.

In December, Jalali’s death sentence also seemed imminent when he spoke with Mehrania to warn him about the transfer to a new prison. But judicial officials reportedly canceled the transfer in support of Jalali, Mehrania and her lawyer.

Now, the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights, which monitors death sentences in Iran, says the Jalali and Nuri cases are clearly linked.

Jalali’s impending execution is “a response to Hamid Nouri’s trial for war crimes in Sweden” and “demonstrates once again that the Islamic Republic of Iran is using the death penalty as a tool of extortion and pressure on Western countries,” the group said in a statement. Recent statements.

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