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Protest lecture against death penalty VUB guest professor Ahmadreza Djalali

Rector Caroline Pauwels demands fair trial

Professor in disaster medicine and VUB guest lecturer Ahmadreza Djalali has been sentenced to the death penalty without a fair trial in Iran. On Friday October 27th at 1:00pm VUB will therefore hold a major protest lecture. The gathering will take place on Brussels Health Campus, Laarbeeklaan 103 in Jette, in the Auditorium Brouwer. VUB calls upon its entire community to voice its protest there. The event will be streamed live into an adjoining auditorium to accommodate the expected crowds.


At the protest that will start at 1:00pm on Friday 27 October, Caroline Pauwels, Gerlant Van Berlaer and/or Ives Hubloue (colleagues of Ahmadreza Djalali), Wies De Graeve (director of Amnesty International Vlaanderen) and professor Jean Jacques Amy will take the podium and address the crowds. The planned lecture of professor Amy in light of the Calewaert chair of will be transformed into a true protest lecture against the death sentence for Ahmadreza Djalali.


Ahmadreza Djalali has been held captive in the Evin prison in Tehran since April 2016. Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, who obtained his doctorate in disaster medicine in Sweden, has now, after 18 months of shadowy containment, been found “guilty of collaboration with an enemy state” by the notorious judge Salivati. The justice has subsequently sentenced him to death.

According to Mrs Vida Mehrannia, Djalali’s wife, he has been accused of cooperation with Israel, for which he allegedly has been paid numerous millions of euros. His appointment at universities and his research projects are only a result of that cooperation, the judge stated according to Mehrannia. She goes on by saying that she and the family suffer gravely from the verdict and ask for any help possible.

Djalali never got a fair trial. It took place within the revolutionary court behind closed doors and there are no written records, let alone a report of the judgement. The final conclusions of the judge are therefore not based upon the due process of law.


Rector Caroline Pauwels wants to pull out all the spots to improve the situation of Djalali. “We strongly demand a fair trial. The verdict of this judge - who is notorious for being one of the strictest in Iran - is merciless and atrocious. We will apply all pressure we can - through diplomatic means, through political contacts, through scientists, through organisations, through the public opinion - to ensure he gets a fair trial.”


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