27 May 2022 :
Wife of Swedish-Iranian on death row pleads for EU action
The wife of Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmedreza Djalali, convicted of espionage in Iran and sentenced to death, pleaded on Tuesday for stronger action from the EU.
"Every night we are worried that something will happen to my husband," Vida Mehrannia told AFP in an interview from Stockholm. Djalali was due to be hanged on May 21 but Mehrannia said the execution did not take place. She fears, however, that unless the EU were to take strong action and apply pressure on Iran, then "absolutely, it will happen soon." Djalali's lawyer Helaleh Moussavian told AFP on Sunday that his defence team had requested a retrial, citing new evidence. Djalali was sentenced to death in 2017 on charges of espionage for Israel, allegations denied by Sweden and his supporters. He was found guilty of passing information about two Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel's Mossad spy agency that led to their assassinations. Sweden granted Djalali citizenship while in detention in February 2018. "I think if something happened to my husband, all EU countries are responsible because they closed their eyes to all anti-human rights behaviour of Iran," said Mehrannia, who has not had any direct contact with her husband since April 2020. She urged EU leaders to make every effort to encourage Iran to revoke Djalali's sentence. "He is completely innocent and he needs the support of the EU," she told AFP. The couple's son, now aged 10, was 4 when Djalali left for Iran, she added.
Last week, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran could postpone Djalali's death sentence but insisted that the verdict was "definite". The UN rights commission has urged Tehran to revoke Djalali's death sentence.