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Scholar Faces Possible Death Sentence in Iran

A group of 153 Nobel laureates has signed a letter expressing concern for an imprisoned Swedish-Iranian disaster medicine scholar, Ahmadreza Djalali, who is reportedly facing possible imminent execution in Iran.

As Politico reported, Djalali was sentenced to death in 2017 on charges of spying for Israel, charges he denies. Human rights groups have condemned his conviction as unfair, saying a confession was extracted under torture.

Djalali taught at Karolinska University, in Sweden; Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, in Italy; and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium. He was arrested in April 2016 during an academic visit to Iran.

The Scholars at Risk Network, which advocates for threatened scholars, said he was in Iran to attend workshops organized by universities in Tehran and Shiraz. The group noted in a statement that Djalali believes his ties to the international academic community are the basis for his wrongful prosecution.

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