Iran — “Brussels Professor” Faces Death Penalty

“The only explanation for this legal error is that Djalali’s so-called lawyer colluded with Judge Salavati of the Iranian Revolutionary Court, who sentenced him to death after physical and psychological torture, and without any fair or public trial .”

VUB Professor Gerlant van Berlaer

“A scientist performing important humanitarian work has been sentenced without public trial and is looking at the death penalty. This is an outrageous violation of universal human rights, against which we should react decisively.”

Rector Caroline Pauwels — VUB [Vrije Universiteit Brussel]

“I have never acted against my country, I have never spied for Israel or any other country. My only fault is that I did not accept to use the trust of my colleagues and universities in EU to spy for Iran’s intelligence services.”

Professor Ahmadreza Djalali

Professor Ahmadreza Djalali

According to Belgian media, the lawyer of Iranian-Swedish professor Ahmadreza Djalali — who has been sentenced to death in Teheran — has not appealed to the Iranian Supreme Court. This case is truly bizarre. Why is Belgium so interested in that case anyway? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Professor Ahmadreza Djalali was convicted of espionage following a trial led by Abolqasem Salavati — a judge in Iran’s revolutionary court — and sentenced to death on October 21 2017.

Professor Djalali has a wife and two children aged 14 and 5. He now  has serious health issues after losing 18 kilograms during a hunger strike that he began on 26 December 2016.

According to the Tehran’s prosecutor, Professor Dajlali was guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told the judiciary’s news agency:

“The person had several meetings with (Israeli intelligence agency) Mossad and provided them with sensitive information about Iran’s military and nuclear sites in return for money and residency in Sweden.”

Between 2010 and 2012, four scientists were killed in a program of assassinations aimed at sabotaging its nuclear energy program.

The Story of Professor Ahmadreza Djalali

Professor Ahmadreza Djalali was teaching at the European Master in Disaster Medicine [EMDM], a joined master by the “Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale” and the “Vrije Universiteit Brussel” [VUB].

The Belgian media have portrayed him as a ‘visiting’ professor at the VUB. None reported what course he was teaching there and when. Considering the case, you would think that this would be a good place to start…

Professor Djalali — about 45-year old — was arrested in April 2016 by the security forces of Iran’s Ministry of Information while en route from Tehran to the city of Karaj and was taken to the Evin Prison.

While in jailed, he has spent many months in isolation. His sister claims that he was forced to sign a confession.

Professor Djalali studied medicine at the University of Tabriz in Iran and obtained a Ph.D. in disaster medicine — the study of health care management during large-scale emergencies —  at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

[Keep in mind the name of this institution because, as I will explain soon, someone brought to my attention that this school is heavily involved in the spread of fake news. And it turns out that a VUB professor is involved. Small world!]

His research focused on how hospitals can best prepare for events with large numbers of casualties, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

National Security

The investigation relates to an issue of ‘national security’. The Iranian government blames him for collaboration with scientists from foreign enemy states (Read US & Israel).

[Note — The joint masters program draws students and professors from countries around the world — including the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.]

Belgium?

In February 2017, Peiman Seadat — the Iranian ambassador to Belgium — told Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois that  Professor Ahmadreza Djalali – who “teaches” at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) [Again which course and when?] – had not received a death sentence.

Belgian Minister Geert Bourgeois recently spoke to the Iranian ambassador about Professor Djalali.

“ The Iranian ambassador denied that Djalali has been sentenced to death and said that he is in pre-trial detention. He assured me that Djalali has the right to a free and fair trial, assisted by a lawyer,” Belgian Minister Geert Bourgeois said.

“Djalali’s fate is still in unknown; I am waiting for more information. It is important that Iran, with which we want to have good relations, understands clearly that we are very worried about Djalali.”

However in October 2017, the death sentence was confirmed.

Response from European Countries

Margot Wallström — the Swedish minister of foreign affairs — says that Sweden like the rest of EU condemn death penalty in all its forms.

“Death penalty is an unhuman, cruel and irreversible punishment which has no place in modern law.”

The VUB called on ‘politicians, diplomats, scientists and other citizens’ to take a firm stand and protest against Djalali’s conviction.

An event at the initiative of Amnesty International took place on Thursday December 14 2017 at 18:00 in front of the Iranian Embassy in Brussels. A few dozen people showed up.

Quick Analysis

This case is truly surreal. Why is the VUB so interested?  Considering that this ‘University’ is not exactly — let us be polite — a well ranked academic institution, one may wonder if the VUB president is not trying to use the case for publicity. That would — of course — be odious but hardly surprising… I have seen Belgian politicians playing this card again, and again…

Why is it that these clowns from the European Commission criticize Iran so much for the “Death Penalty”? To the best of my knowledge, Margot Wallström never made similar claims regarding the United States?

And, by the way, when Persia was controlling the ‘Silk Road’, historians claim that a widow and her children could travel safely day or night. Today, you would be crazy/suicidal to walk in the streets of Brussels after dark…

Where were all these ‘prestigious’ professors and human right defenders when — at least — four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated? I do not remember any of them speaking about those crimes.

And for Amnesty International, I only want to remind you that the last time they asked us to free a “completely innocent man” from an Iraqi jail, Osama Attar went on to organize the Paris and Brussels attacks.

RELATED POST: Paris & Brussels attacks: Lies, lies and more lies.

This week, the Brussels Parliament has unanimously condemned Iran for its decision regarding this case. I wonder how many of these Brussels PMs could name just one of the nuclear scientists assassinated in Iran?

I really do not know what is going on in this case. But, at least, I do not pretend. Yet, I know this much.

Whenever an Intelligence Agency asks a University professor to work as a spy, he has the choice to agree or refuse. For sure, refusal will terminate his career, and the person will go from academia to street beggar in just a moment. But that is the right choice. The only choice.

RELATED POST: Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities [Book Review]

Ahmad Reza Jalali: Death Sentence Without a Trial

REFERENCES

VUB professor Ahmadreza Djalali sentenced to death in Iran — VUB Official website

Disaster medicine scientist sentenced to death in Iran — Science

Iran sentences ‘Mossad agent’ to death over scientist killings — Reuters

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Iran — Brussels professor faces death penalty

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