Ahmadreza Djalali is an Iranian disaster medicine scientist who has been living in Sweden. On a recent trip to Iran, he was arrested and accused of espionage. In January, Djalali was taken to a branch of the Revolutionary Court without a lawyer present. He is now facing a sentence to the death penalty. Djalali is not the only person being detained in Iran with a similar accusation of espionage; Iran currently has dozens of detainees, most of them also accused of spying. Djalali and many Iranian prisoners went on hunger strike to protest their sentences.
The New York Times points out that this arrest comes at a time when Iran is hoping to restore business ties with the EU. Many people are putting pressure on Swedish Prime Minister Lofven to take this arrest into account when discussing sanctions. The Belgium foreign minister has expressed concerns about Djalali’s case. United Against Nuclear Iran demanded the termination of business contacts between the Iranian government and Swedish companies.