Iran: HRK President protests against death sentence for academic Djalali

15. December 2017

After confirmation of the death sentence against academic Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, detained in Iran since April 2016, the President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) has appealed to the Iranian head of state, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in an open letter.  

In his letter, Professor Horst Hippler called for the immediate reversal of the death penalty, the unconditional release of the academic, and the dropping of all charges. Hippler urged Iran to comply with its international obligations to respect human rights, protect academic freedom and recognise the principles of the rule of law.

“The imposition of the death sentence on Dr Djalali is irreconcilable with our fundamental values and convictions,” Hippler said. “It likewise conflicts with international accords, to which Iran is also committed, such as the UN Convention on Human Rights.”

Immediately after the death sentence was imposed on Dr Ahmadreza Djalali on 21 October 2017, the HRK President appealed to the Iranian leadership in a letter criticising the judgement. The confirmation of the death sentence has now occurred after the state-appointed defence counsel did not lodge a further appeal. Djalali lives and works in Sweden, and was arrested during a visit to Tehran at the invitation of the university there.

The HRK is supporting calls by the international network Scholars at Risk and the European University Association (EUA) to send letters of support for Ahmadreza Djalali to the Iranian Government.