Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali is threatened with execution – HRK President demands the release of the researcher

Amnesty International and Scholars at Risk report about imminent execution

The Swedish-Iranian scientist Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali has been imprisoned in Iran since 2016. In October 2017 the scientist, who lives in Sweden, was sentenced to death for "corruption on earth" (ifsad fil-arz). According to Amnesty International and Scholars at Risk, his execution is now imminent. As a founding member of the German section of Scholars at Risk, the IPU distributes the open letter of the President of the German Rectors' Conference, Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt. Also in the name of the university management and the acting president Prof. Dr. Lilli Gast, the IPU Berlin joins the demand not to carry out the death penalty and to release Dr. Djalali from prison.

Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt writes: "International scientific cooperation is based on the standards of academic freedom and human rights. Iran is in the process of jeopardizing the proven German-Iranian academic cooperation and turning its back on the international academic community. We will not stop supporting Dr. Djalali. It is inconceivable to me that the execution of a highly respected scientist and EU citizen will have no repercussions on scientific relations between Germany and Iran".

The HRK President's open letter was distributed by the German Rectors' Conference in a press release; it can be read here. The report on Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali’s treatment and the appeal for his release was published by Scholars at Risk here.

Universities and research institutions want to improve support for researchers at risk

The International Psychoanalytic University (IPU) Berlin has been a supporting member of the international organization Scholars at Risk (SAR) since 2014. Its goal is to defend the right of free expression in research and teaching worldwide under the motto “Ideas are not crimes”. One of its main activities is to place persecuted or compromised scientists at universities outside of their own country, where they can continue their research in security and freedom. On September 20, 2016, the German section of Scholars at Risk was founded during a ceremony in Bonn. The IPU Berlin is one out of the 20 founding universities in Germany and was officially represented at the ceremony.

Of the founding members, IPU Berlin is one of only two private universities, and the only one that offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. This underlines the self-image and commitment of IPU Berlin to actively respond to global social challenges such as persecution and forced migration, as well as to contribute in shaping the matter in a solution-oriented manner.