By Jubin Katiraie
The father of a jailed Iranian political prisoner on death row has died from suicide, according to state-run News Agency ROKNA.
Mohammad Moradi, 60, the father of protester Amir Hossein Moradi, died at home on Monday morning, having been under severe pressure following the confirmation of his son’s death sentence, something confirmed by his son’s lawyer Babak Paknia. His wife said that he talked constantly about his son, showing extreme concern.
Following Moradi’s death, the so-called“reformist” Telegram channel Emteded said that security forces and people with cameras descended on the house and stayed “for a few hours”, while “reformist” journalist, Mehdi Mahmoudian said they were trying to extract “forced confessions” from the family.
Amir Hossein, 26, was arrested for taking part in the November 2019 protests over the authorities’ decision to triple gas prices overnight and was sentenced to death, alongside fellow protesters Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi. Reports indicate that he was tortured after being arrested; namely beaten, subjected to electric shocks, and forced to endure an agent standing on his chest. He was told that his torture and solitary confinement would continue until he confessed.
The trio’s death sentences were confirmed in June, but Iranian launched a social medical campaign that resulted in the sentences being reviewed after the hashtag Do Not Execute was used over 10 million times, including by the President of the United States. Despite this Amir Hossein’s family were put under “mental pressure” and kept in limbo about the death sentence, which indicates that the review was never really going to result in their lives being spared. As the government usually does, they intended to delay the execution until the heat had passed, but they never wanted to stop the execution altogether.
An informed source said that following his father’s death, Amir Hossein’s mother and brother were summoned to the Intelligence Agency and threatened with arrest if they spoke to the press.
The source said: “Since Amir Hossein’s arrest and death sentence, his parents have been in poor mental health. His father was under severe mental pressure.”
At least nine Iranian protesters are on death row, but the true number may be much higher due to the state’s secrecy around things that make them look bad.
In August, Iranian authorities hanged protester Mostafa Salehi, a father of two from Isfahan, central Iran, and in early September they hanged protesters and wrestling champion Navid Afkari from Shiraz, southwestern Iran.