Human Rights Iranian Protester Dies in Custody

Iranian Protester Dies in Custody

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Following the execution of wrestling champion and political prisoner Navid Afkari, Iranian authorities killed another Iranian protester Nader Mokhtari in custody
Following the execution of wrestling champion and political prisoner Navid Afkari, Iranian authorities killed another Iranian protester Nader Mokhtari in custody

By Jubin Katiraie

An Iranian protester, who was beaten into a coma by security forces, has died in custody.

Nader Mokhtari, 35, died on Saturday in Kahrizak detention center, Tehran. His body has not yet been handed over to his family, who are being put under pressure to remain silent about his death and the cause of death.

He fell into a coma after being beaten with batons by state security forces in the November 2019 protests in Karaj and for a month, his family didn’t know where he was until they found him comatose in a hospital in Tehran.

Protests Increase Three-Fold in Iran

Mokhtari came out of the coma in March, just before the Persian new year, and, despite his critical condition and opposition from doctors and relatives, security forces moved him to Kahrizak Prison where he was held in the prison’s health center.

At least 1,500 protesters were slain in the streets by security forces in a three-day period in November, with thousands more injured or arrested or both.

In early September, Amnesty International published a report into the arrested protesters, citing torture, unfair trials, and death sentences issued based on “confessions” extracted under torture.

Iran Human Rights Monitor said: “[This] emphasizes the need for an international delegation to visit prisons and detention centers of the clerical regime and to meet with the prisoners, particularly the detained protesters.”

In related news, there is concern over the fate of four political prisoners in Sheiban Prison, Ahwaz, who has been moved to an undisclosed location, which is common before executions. Prison authorities have failed to inform their families of their whereabouts and fate, which amounts to forced disappearances and is banned by international law.

Ali Motiri, Ali Khasraji, 27, Hossein Silavi, 31, and Ali Mojadam, 39, were all moved in secret last Thursday, even though only three of them – Motiri, Khasraji, and Silavi – had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court, following an unfair trial based on confessions to murder extracted under torture.

Mojadam, meanwhile, was convicted of, basically, not supporting the regime but there is no information on his case or the verdict.

All four of these political prisoners had taken part in a protest in April over the failure of prison authorities to take merchants to stop the spread of the coronavirus. They were beaten and shot by security forces and new cases were opened against them.

Iran Issues More Execution Sentences

Following that, Mojadam reported on April 15 that he’d been interrogated under torture at the Intelligence Department of Ahwaz detention center.

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