The wife of the Swedish-Iranian scientist Ahmadreza Djalali, whose execution was planned for May 21, has appealed to the EU for help, saying the Islamic Republic is considering postponing the sentence.
Vida Mehrannia said in an interview with Germany’s ZDF channel Saturday evening that her husband is not executed yet, expressing hope “that the EU can really act decisively in order to bring Ahmadreza home”.
She said that the EU must “not allow an innocent man to be killed in such an inhuman way".
Djalali was arrested while visiting Iran on an invitation by a university in 2016 and consequently sentenced to death on unsubstantiated charges of espionage for Israel. Espionage is a charge Iran often uses against foreigners and dual nationals that they want to hold as a bargaining chip.
Amnesty International on Thursday accused the Islamic Republic of taking Djalali "hostage" and using him as “a pawn in a cruel political game."
The United Nations human rights office also urged Iran last week to halt the execution and rescind Djalali’s death sentence.
Amnesty provided a detailed research and analysis to prove that Iranian authorities are threatening to execute Djalali to compel Belgium and Sweden to hand over two imprisoned former officials, and “to deter them and others from future prosecutions of Iranian officials”.
There has been speculation that the announcement of Djalali’s execution was intended to influence the trial in Sweden of Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian official, over his alleged role in a wave of prison executions in Iran in 1988.