Physician leaders’ plea over doctor’s torture

An urgent plea to the Iranian authorities to stop the torture of a doctor facing execution has been made by the World Medical Association.

Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a specialist in emergency medicine, was sentenced to death on alleged espionage charges in October 2017. For the past 100 days he has been held in solitary confinement.

In a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader and President, WMA leaders express their profound dismay at reports that Dr. Djalali’s health is deteriorating and is now critical.

Dr. David Barbe, President of the WMA, and Dr. Frank Montgomery, Chair of the WMA Council, write: ‘The treatment inflicted on Dr. Djalali is nothing less then barbaric, inhuman and unworthy of any state governed by law’.

‘We join the call of the UN human rights experts to put an immediate end to torture against Dr. Djalali and urge the Iranian Government, parliament and judiciary to halt the use of solitary confinement as a form of punishment and to impose a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition’.

The letter says that Dr. Djalali was peacefully pursuing his profession when he was arrested, and was then convicted and sentenced based on a confession extracted under torture and after an unfair trial. Since then, he has faced imminent execution despite repeated pleas from the WMA and the international community.