Children of Ahmadreza Djalali address father in an open letter: “Not a day goes by that we don’t think of you.”

On October 17 it will be 2,000 days since scientist and VUB guest lecturer Ahmadreza Djalali was wrongfully arrested in Iran. What followed was a long agony: he was sentenced to death after a manifestly unfair trial and imprisoned in the infamous Evin prison. dr. Djalali is tortured, his health is bad and he lives in constant fear that he will be executed. Moreover, since November last year, he has been banned from calling his wife and children in Sweden, which makes the situation almost unbearable for them. Despite everything, his children remain hopeful and call on people to join the fight for their father’s release: “Dear Dad, Today it has been 2,000 days since you were wrongfully arrested, and on each of those 2,000 days we longed for your return. Every birthday, Christmas and New Year, we wish you could spend the next one with us. The youngest of us was only four when you were arrested, and every year he asks Santa to bring you back as his Christmas present. 2,000 days of pain and injustice. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of you. We wonder why such an unjust fate had to befall you, you who have done nothing wrong and have always been a role model for us. Despite everything, we remain hopeful. We admire how you endured this hell for so long. We will not stop fighting for your release so that you can experience the feeling of true freedom again. We continue to call on people to join our fight for your release, for justice. We won’t stop until you’re back home, with us, with your family and friends, and back in the scientific community, where you can continue to help others with your work and research. With lots of love, your children” Amnesty’s call “Dr. Djalali and his loved ones have been going through this nightmare for 2,000 days now. We renew our call to policy makers at all levels to step up their efforts to end this inhumane situation. We will continue to support Ahmadreza Djalali’s family in their struggle to get him home,” said Wies De Graeve, director of Amnesty International Flanders. Background dr. Djalali specializes in disaster medicine and was arrested in April 2016 during a working visit to Iran and charged with espionage. For the first ten days, no one knew where he was being held. In late October 2017, he was sentenced to death after a manifestly unfair trial. He was forced to confessions through psychological torture and spent the first three months of his detention in solitary confinement. His lawyer was not allowed to visit him until seven months after his arrest. In Belgium, more than 130,000 people have already signed Amnesty International’s petition calling for the withdrawal of the death penalty against Djalali and demanding his release. Iran ranks second after China in the number of executions carried out in the world. In 2020, Iran executed at least 246 people. The country also organizes public executions and executes juvenile offenders.

SOURCE:Amnesty International

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