STOCKHOLM ( Associated Press) – Iran is planning to kill an Iranian-Swedish researcher imprisoned since 2016, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, as major court cases escalate strained relations between the two countries.
Iranian officials, quoting the semi-official ISNA news agency, said Iran would implement the death penalty against Ahmed Reza Jalali by May 21.
Jalali is a Swedish-Iranian physician who specializes in disaster relief and has taught at European universities. Rights groups have condemned their detention, saying it follows the pattern of detaining dual citizens of Iran and migrants indefinitely without due process.
He was sentenced to death in 2017 on widely condemned espionage charges that Iranian state TV aired as a forced confession with Jalali saying he had made foreign statements about Iranian nuclear scientists. Intelligence services were informed.
His imminent execution came after Iran summoned its Swedish envoy to Sweden at a historic trial in the 1980s on charges of serious war crimes committed during the final phase of the Iran-Iraq war.
Swedish prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment for Hamid Nouri, who has been detained in Sweden since his arrest in Stockholm in November 2019. The Stockholm District Court said on Wednesday that a verdict is expected on July 14 and Nouri will remain in custody until then. Judgment is pronounced or otherwise decided.”
On Twitter, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde wrote that reports of Iran’s execution of the death penalty were “very worrying”, and that Sweden and the European Union “condemn the death penalty and demand the release of Jalali.”
“We have said this several times to the representatives of Iran,” she wrote, adding that Sweden was in contact with Tehran.
Amnesty International Sweden’s Maja Oberg said Iran’s announcement of the date of Jalali’s execution was not a coincidence, just after Swedish prosecutors left the Nouri case.
“This indicates that (Iran) sees him as a kind of piece in the puzzle, which is very worrying,” she told Sweden’s TT news agency.