Thursday, August 03, 2006

Proof of Murder

Kurosh Salimi, Rooz Online:
One day after the death of Akbar Mohammadi, the leading student in the student unrest of 1998 who had been imprisoned in Evin since then, attempts by prison and security officials to present a normal picture of the event and conditions in the prison have been challenged by the interview of the father of the victim.

On Sunday, Mohammadi’s father, who has another son (Manoutchehr Mohammadi) behind bars as well, told Radio Farda that he had heard from other prisoners that prison guards had tried to beat Akbar out of his hunger strike. In his interview, he also expressed his hope that the United Nations would send representatives to see the conditions in Iranian prisons, which he said were deplorable as Iranian youth continued to be executed in them. When asked how he knew of the events in the prison, Mr. Mohammadi said that other prisoners and even individuals from the prison clinic had contacted him and described what had been going on behind the bars. Mohammadi said that after his two sons Akbar and Manoutchehr were imprisoned, his daughter left Iran for Europe where she began a campaign to show the world of the brutalities of the regime in Tehran. He also has another son who also left Iran to avoid arrest and persecution. READ MORE

Attorney Nemat Ahmadi who represents Akbar Mohammadi told Rooz Online last night that everybody who was involved in the re-arrest of Akbar Mohammadi and those who denied him his medication are responsible for his death because he had begun a hunger strike in protest to his conditions about nine days earlier. He also said that Akbar had contacted him the day he had decided to start his hunger strike and informed him of his decision, adding that prison authorities were denying him his medicine and other needs. Akbar had been allowed to go on leave from prison last month, but before his leave came to its end, he and another known prisoner Ahmad Batebi (who appeared on the front cover of the Economist magazine during the 1988 student unrest for which he was imprisoned) were both detained again and sent to the notorious Evin prison.

Since Batebi too had told others that he would begin a hunger strike if he were returned to prison, there is now concern about his health and condition in the prison.