Media reported that Iran will execute a Swedish-Iranian national later this month, whom it has imprisoned since 2016 and found guilty of spying for Israel.
Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency released a report on Wednesday in which Iranian officials said Tehran would implement the death penalty against Ahmed Reza Jalali by May 21.
Jalali, a researcher and physician specializing in disaster relief, was arrested in April 2016 while traveling to Iran. In 2017, Jalali was sentenced to death in Iran after being found guilty of passing information to Israel about two Iranian nuclear scientists. Help the assassination of many nuclear scientists.
Rights groups have condemned Jalali’s detention, citing Iran’s pattern of detaining dual citizens and migrants without due process.
Iran does not recognize dual citizens.
The announcement came as authorities in Stockholm ended the trial of Iranian prosecuting officer Hamid Nouri, who was arrested by Swedish authorities in November 2019.
Officials say Nouri played a role in the 1988 deaths of political prisoners executed on the orders of the Iranian government in Iran’s Gohardasht prison during the final phase of the Iran-Iraq war. Noori has been detained in Sweden since her arrest.
On Wednesday, the last day of Nouri’s trial, a Stockholm district court judge set July 14 as the date of the verdict.
Amnesty International put the death toll in prison at 5,000, but a 2018 report said the number could be higher.
“Iran is one of the world’s leading implementers of the death penalty,” Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.
If convicted, Noori will face a maximum sentence of life in prison for international war crimes and human rights abuses. Iran recently summoned the Swedish envoy to protest the Nouri case.
Maja Eberg, senior policy adviser at Amnesty International Sweden, says it is no coincidence that Iran announced the pending execution of Jalali after Swedish prosecutors withdrew from Nouri’s trial.
“This indicates that (Iran) sees him as a kind of piece in the puzzle, which is very worrying,” Eberg told Sweden’s TT news agency.
Swedish law allows the prosecution of Swedish citizens and other nationals for crimes against international law committed abroad.
Some information for this report has been obtained from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.