Who are the Swedish doctors facing execution in Iran

Who are the Swedish doctors facing execution in Iran

Vida Mehrania is trying to save her husband’s life. Iran will put him to death within nine days by May 21.

As for Iran, 50-year-old Ahmed Reza Jalali is a spy for Israel. To his colleagues, he is a respected physician specializing in disaster medicine, the most sought-after field. He is a loving husband to Mehrania.

“It’s a nightmare,” she told the Associated Press from Stockholm, where she lives with her 10-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who haven’t seen their father in the six years since their arrest. “They want to sacrifice my husband.”

Mehrania pinned her hopes low on Jalali’s Swedish citizenship and Stockholm’s attempts to press for his release. The extent of those efforts is unclear, although the Swedish foreign minister last week called on his Iranian counterpart and, along with the European Union, expressed clear opposition to the death penalty and demanded the release of Jalali.

But it appears that Jalali’s ties to Sweden as well have landed her in an Iranian prison.

Analysts say that in Iran, some foreigners are pawns in both Tehran’s internal political rivalry and tensions between Tehran and the western capitals. A pattern of Western picks is increasingly visible since the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

On Wednesday, Iran said it had detained two unidentified Europeans after the EU envoy touched down in the capital in a final attempt to salvage a torn nuclear deal.

Iran has imprisoned at least a dozen dual citizens in recent years. Most of them have been held on widely disputed espionage charges.

A look at the forces at play in Jalali’s case.

how did it start?

Jalali was born in the northwestern city of Tabriz in Iran. He made a successful career in Italy and Sweden, publishing more than 40 articles in medical journals and teaching across the continent. When an Iranian university invited him to a workshop in April 2016, he didn’t think twice about attending.

He never saw his family again.

Security services capture him, accuse him of leaking details about Iranian nuclear scientists who are believed to have been killed by the Mossad and taken to Iran’s infamous Avin prison where he was put to death. was sentenced.

Meanwhile, a historic quest in Sweden to hold a former Iranian official accused of atrocities has sparked outrage in Tehran.

The two cases coincide uncomfortably. Hamid Nouri is on trial in Stockholm for war crimes and murder committed during the Iran-Iraq War – a conflict that ended more than a quarter century ago and haunts Tehran to this day.

What is happening between Iran and Sweden?

For the first time, several Iranians who survived mass executions at the end of the Iran-Iraq war have taken a stand in a Swedish court.

Iran denies any connection between the controversial trial and Jalali’s death sentence – which was declared imminent last week as Swedish court proceedings made international headlines. A spokesman for Iran’s judiciary declared Jalali’s decision final on Tuesday. His family believes that the cases are connected.

The allegations in Sweden date back to 1988, when Iran’s then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini accepted a UN-brokered ceasefire. Members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, heavily armed with Saddam Hussein, stormed the Iranian border from Iraq in a surprise attack. Iran blunted its attack.

Around that time the pretentious trial of political prisoners began, with defendants asked to identify themselves. According to a 1990 Amnesty International report, those responding to the “Mujahideen” were sent to death. International rights groups estimate that 5,000 people were executed.

Iran has tried to bury this dark chapter of history. But now sensitive memories are being dragged into light. Former prisoners have told a Swedish court that Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official, sentenced to death, guided the convicts to the cells where he was executed and helped prosecutors collect the names of mujahideen sympathizers. Had it. Noori has denied involvement.

The verdict is expected in July and 61-year-old Noori could face life imprisonment if convicted. The case resonates in Tehran, where staunch former judiciary chief Ibrahim Rasi served on commissions issuing execution orders.

Iran is outraged, condemning the proceedings as “an unjust and illegal show trial”.

Iranian authorities have since detained another Swedish national, a tourist traveling to the country, Sweden’s foreign ministry confirmed last week.

Why does Iran block foreigners?

Four decades ago, young Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Analysts say he was released in 1981, but Iran’s hostage-taking policy never ended.

“It has its ups and downs, but it has been a notorious page in the Islamic Republic’s playbook since 1979,” said Iran expert Ray Takeh of the Council on Foreign Relations. “Iran usually detains foreign nationals from that other country as a means of profiting or obtaining something else.”

The strategy has burst into public view as the prisoner swap gains traction. When Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers went into effect in 2016, four American captives returned home from Iran. On the same day, the Obama administration airlifted Iran for $400 million in cash.

Most recently this spring, two British nationals who had been jailed in Iran for more than five years returned home after Britain settled a decade-old debt to Iran.

At least four Americans, two Germans, two Austrians and two French nationals are in custody in Iran today.

A UN panel describes their imprisonment as part of “an emerging pattern of arbitrary deprivation of the liberties of dual citizens”.

What is Iran’s history of hanging prisoners?

Iran is one of the world’s leading executioners. In March, the UN special envoy for Iran told the Human Rights Council that Iran’s executions had risen to 280 last year, including at least three minors.

However, the execution of foreigners is extremely rare. Iran has not been publicly known to have killed a foreigner in the past two decades.

Dual citizens facing the death penalty in recent years, such as Iranian-Canadian Hamid Ghasemi or Iranian-American Amir Hekmati, have had their sentences reduced.

Last year, UN rights experts warned that Jalali faced harsh conditions and was “near death” as his health rapidly deteriorated in solitary confinement. His sentence, the United Nations says, stemmed from a confession he made under torture after an unfair trial.

Deprived of sleep under bright lights, he looks forward to the day he will be taken to kill.

His family says this is a horror they share even 3,000 miles away.

“It is torture. … It has completely taken over our lives,” said Mehrania. “For the politics of other countries, we are the victims.”


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.


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