Prisoner Games

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Iran is reviewing a request to delay the execution of an Iranian-born Swedish academic convicted of espionage in a case that has garnered international condemnation, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

The case is related to Ahmadreza Jalali, a disaster-medicine doctor who was detained while traveling to a conference in Iran in 2016. Authorities accused Jalali of spying for Israel’s Mossad, and leaking information that led to the killings of two Iranian nuclear scientists in 2010.

A court later sentenced him to death following a forced confession, according to Jalali’s lawyers. In March, a United Nations panel said the doctor was subjected to “severe physical and psychological ill-treatment” in prison, amounting to torture.

On Tuesday, UN officials urged Iran to halt the execution and revoke the death sentence after Iranian authorities announced his sentence as “final.”

Jalali’s case has drawn widespread criticism about Iran’s pattern of arresting dual nationals on questionable charges, often for political leverage.

Recently, a spat broke out between Iran and Sweden after Stockholm arrested and prosecuted former Iranian judicial official Hamid Nouri for murder and war crimes in 2019.

Swedish authorities have accused Nouri of involvement in the mass execution of dissidents in Iran in 1988. The case concluded earlier this month and a verdict is expected in July.

Iran has denounced Nouri’s trial as politicized while denying Jalali’s case is linked to that of the former judicial official.

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