News : Human rights
- Published: Thursday, 18 June 2020
An Iranian prisoner was tortured to death by intelligence officers but his father was forced to sign the death off as coronavirus, according to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, even though he has tested negative for the disease.
Seyed Kamal Hosseini, 34, who was held in Saqqez Prison, Kurdistan province was severely beaten on June 10 by two agents, just hours after his arrest, but did not receive medical treatment until June 12, when he was admitted to Khomeini Hospital at 2 pm in critical condition.
He died on June 13, but his family was not told until two relatives went to the hospital. His body was released to his family after 30 hours; provided that his father signed a form to say his son died of coronavirus, which meant the body was buried according to health regulations, so the family was not even able to see his body.
The autopsy, who Hosseini’s family believes is a mere formality because his body was in the Coroner’s Office for just 30 minutes, says that the cause of death was a heart attack from coronavirus.
Security agents raided the home of Hosseini’s father, degraded him in front of his mother, and arrested him. The young man was married and had a child.
It is not unusual for prisoners, especially political prisoners, to be killed under torture in Iran, with torture used to punish them or to contract forced confessions.
In fact, torture is systematic in Iran and has been for over 40 years, with the regime using it as a method of survival, which is why over 100 offenses in Iran are punishable with flogging.
The regime denies using torture, claiming that it is against the law in Iran, but the fact is that it is enshrined in law, and anyone who says that the government subjected them to torture would be subjected to it or worse again. Take the case of labor activist Esmail Bakhshi who said in 2019 that he’d been tortured “to the brink of death” during his 30-day incarceration. He was put under pressure to retract his comments or be charged with “undermining the state”.
Iran Human Rights Monitor said: “Torture in all its forms has been used during the Islamic Republic’s almost 40 years of existence. The use of torture is so prevalent that the United Nations has adopted 65 resolutions condemning Iran’s use of torture and other human rights violations.”
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