AhmadrezaDjalali, father of two children and Professor of disaster medicine at the VrijeUniversiteitBrussel, has now been detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison for over fifteen months.
A joint urgent appeal was sent by the UN, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, to the Iranian authorities. However, to this date, the Islamic Republic of Iran has still not given any answer to the matters raised in the letter, including those relating to guarantees of due process and fair trial.
Recently, a trial has finally been scheduled on the 2nd of August before the 15th Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran presided by Judge AbolqasemSalavati who is sadly well known for imposing harsh sentences in politically motivated cases.
How fair will this trial be?
During seven months spent in solitary confinement, Pr. Djalali has been subjected to intense interrogations and forced under great emotional and psychological pressure to sign statements and confessions. He has not only been insulted and threatened with the death penalty, but he has also been threatened multiple times with his wife’s and children’s lives. The HRL Foundation fears that the confession Pr. Djalali was forced to sign after months of interrogations and threats will be used as evidence in Court. Although the admission of statements obtained as a result of torture or of other ill-treatment as evidence in criminal proceedings renders the proceedings as a whole unfair, this consideration has unfortunately not refrained revolutionary courts to do so in the past.
Pr. Djalali has also been denied access to a lawyer during those seven months of isolation. After that, his right to communicate with and to be represented by a counsel of his own choosing has also been systematically denied.Judge AbolqasemSalavati has rejected three lawyers so far, including one that had been following Pr. Djalali’s case for months. A third lawyer has finally been appointed in June and accepted by the Judge. Why this one but not the others? The reason behind the Judge’s decision remains unclear. Finally, while the trial is planned to take place next week, Pr. Djalali has only met his counsel once to prepare his defence.
Pr. Djalali and his family are struggling a lot emotionally and fear that the trial will not be conducted fairly next week. Let their voice be heard and spread their call for help !
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