Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Suspicious circumstances surround deaths of Iranian prisoners

Just nine days after Iranian student Ebrahim Lotfollahi was detained, for reasons that are still unclear, his family was told that he had committed suicide, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty reported on January 18.

Lotfollahi’s family claims that he had no reason to take his own life. They were not permitted to see the body, which was buried without an autopsy. A few days later, the grave was covered with a layer of concrete.

The article suggests that this is not an isolated incident, saying that “this case appears similar to that of another student: Zahra Bani Yaghoub, a 27-year-old who died in prison in the western city of Hamedan in October shortly after she was detained by the morality police while out for a stroll with her boyfriend. In Yaghoub’s case, officials also said that she committed suicide, but her family accused the police of murdering her. They said her body was bruised and that there was blood in her ears.” An autopsy has been called for, but some observers doubt that officials will grant it.

Saman Rasulpour, a Sanandaj-based journalist and member of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, is supporting Lotfollahi’s family in its pursuit of the truth. “We will first try to find a lawyer for this family, which is a very innocent and poor family, to pursue the case through legal channels,” Rasulpour said. “ This is a suspicious death for us human rights activists, and security forces were responsible for his life and they have to give answers.”

For the full article, click here.


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