Swedish researcher Ahmadreza Djalali was arrested in Iran in 2016 and has been sentenced to death accused of espionage. According to the Iranian news agency Isna, Iran has intended to execute him by May 21, but that date may now change, according to sources in Iran’s Foreign Ministry. Djalali has been imprisoned in the infamous Evin prison and his execution has been postponed several times before.
Ahmadreza Djalali is believed to have been tortured
According to several testimonies, Djalali has been tortured and his health has deteriorated during his time in captivity. At the same time as Iran threatens to execute the researcher, there has been a trial in Sweden against a high-ranking Iranian who is accused of war crimes and for being behind mass executions in Iran in 1988. According to the news agency Reuters, the threat to execute Djalali may be a method from Iran for to put pressure on Sweden, something Iran has denied. According to official Iranian statements, Djalali’s death sentence has been determined and will be carried out.
The countries in the Middle East where most are executed
With the exception of China, some countries in the Middle East account for almost 90 percent of all executions in the world, according to reports from, for example, the human rights organization Amnesty. Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are the countries in the area that execute the most. In March 2022, Saudi Arabia executed 81 people in one of the largest mass executions in recent years. In the Middle East, non-state actors such as the terrorist group IS have also carried out executions and distributed films of the killing for propaganda purposes. IS has executed journalists such as American James Foley but also Coptic Christian guest workers from Egypt and Syrian soldiers. Hear our correspondents Johan Mathias Sommarström who knew the executed American journalist and Cecilia Uddén who was in the village where the Christian guest workers came from.
P1’s Middle East podcast on why the Middle East continues to use executions despite more and more countries in the world abandoning the death penalty.
Participants: Cecilia Uddén and Johan Mathias SommarströmMiddle East Correspondents, Kavoos Akhtari reporter at Ekot
Host: Olle Wiberg
Introduction: Johar Bendjelloul
Producer: Katja Magnusson
Technician: Joakim Persson
Source: ICELAND NEWS