HRK President calls for immediate release of Ahmadreza Djalali - Academic refused medical care in Iranian custody

5. March 2019

"I am deeply concerned by reports that Dr Djalali has no access to medical care despite the critical condition of his health. In an open letter I urged the Iranian head of state to release the academic from custody immediately. He has now been detained for almost three years," said the President of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Prof Dr Peter-André Alt, today in Berlin. "We want to make it clear that we will continue to fight for the freedom of Dr Djalali alongside a number of international partners. Respecting human rights and academic freedom is an indispensable prerequisite for cooperation with Iranian universities."

The HRK is supporting the urgent call by Scholars at Risk, the international network for the protection of at-risk researchers, to send letters of support for Ahmadreza Djalali to the Iranian Government.

Scholars at Risk reports that Dr Djalali is being refused medical care despite it being strongly suspected that he has leukaemia. The academic, who is a resident of Sweden, has been in Iranian custody since April 2016. In October 2017, Djalali was sentenced to death for 'corruption on Earth' (ifsad fil-arz). Iran's Supreme Court denied a request to review the verdict in February 2018. Dr Djalali's health has continued to deteriorate during his time in custody.

Under its former President, Prof Dr Horst Hippler, the HRK has already made several appeals to the Iranian Government to release Ahmadreza Djalali.

According to the HRK database of international university partnerships, German universities are currently involved in 77 partnerships with Iranian partners.

You can find the open letter of HRK President Alt to the Iranian head of state, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, here.