London, 15 Feb – Professor Kavous Seyed-Emami is the latest Candian to be imprisoned and killed in an Iranian jail.
The environmentalist was working in Iran to protect the Asiatic cheetah, of which there are only 50 left in the world, when the Iranian Regime accused him of spying for the West and arrested him.
Last week, the Regime claimed that Emami, 63, had committed suicide, but refused an autopsy and arranged a hasty burial, almost as if they had something to hide.
His family denied that he was suicidal or that he was spying on behalf of foreign powers.
Then, once Emami had died and could no longer defend himself, the Iranian prosecutor publically claimed that Emami was a spy working for the American and Israeli intelligence services. They even claimed to have a confession, but the Regime has a history of extracting confessions under torture, so this confession is likely false.
The prosecutor also claimed to have a video of Emami removing his shirt in order to hang himself, but this video doesn’t show the suicide itself, which is highly suspicious.
It’s worth noting that this is at least the thirteenth “suicide” in an Iranian jail since the beginning of 2018, with other victims being involved in the widespread anti-regime protests. The other victims showed signs of torture and so it is just as likely as Emami was tortured to death too.
Various human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and the Centre for Human Rights in Iran, are now calling for an independent autopsy of Emami, while the Canadian Government has requested answers into Emami’s death.
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said: “[Canada is] seriously concerned by the situation surrounding the detention and death of Mr. Seyed-Emami. We expect the Government of Iran to provide information and answers…. We will continue to use every means at Canada’s disposal to seek further information.”
However, Canada needs to go further and insist on an independent autopsy too, involving the UN if needed.
Emami’s tale is not unlike that of freelance photographer Zahra Kazemi, who was raped, tortured and murdered in Evin Prison- where Emami was held- in 2003. The Regime said that she had suffered a stroke, but a prison official who examined her later reported that she had been brutally raped, suffered a skull fracture, had been flogged, and was missing some of her fingernails and teeth.
Of the Iranian-Canadians who have been detained and abused by the Iranian Regime on bogus espionage charges, only Hamid Ghassemi-Shall and Homa Hoodfar were released and then only thanks to international pressure.