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World Medical Association appeals against doctor’s execution

From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja

The World Medical Association (WMA) has appealed to Iran leaders to intervene to prevent the execution of an Iranian-born Swedish doctor, Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, on charges of espionage.

According to WMA, Dr. Djalali has been in detention facing the death penalty since his arrest in April 2016 on charges of espionage, in spite of repeated calls from the international community forhis release.

In a letter to Iran’s President and Supreme Leader, the WMA President, Dr. David Barbe and Chair, Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery, said reports indicated that the death sentence would shortly be carried out on Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a specialist in emergency medicine, by Iranian government.

They said the WMA was ‘appalled’ by the news of imminent execution which comes despite repeated calls from the international community for Dr. Djalali’s release.

The WMA leaders write: “Various sources of information unanimously confirmed that Dr. Djalali is a specialist in emergency medicine who was peacefully pursuing his profession before his arrest in Iran in 2016. We believe that he is a prisoner of conscience.”

WMA insisted that the freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial are fundamental human rights as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Republic of Iran ratified in 1975.

“We, therefore, call on the Iranian authorities to take immediate action in line with its commitments to release Dr. Djalali immediately and unconditionally.

“We also appeal to your humanity and sense of justice and trust that you will promptly take all the necessary steps related to our demands,” WMA added.

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