Iran: Slain detained protesters were forced fed unknown pills

Iranian students

While the deaths of at least two detained protesters rounded up in mass arrests during Iran protests has been officially announced as “suicide”, Tehran Majlis deputy Mahmoud Sadeghi let slip an appalling detail about the suspicious death of one of the victims: “One of the inmates who recently died in prison had told his family that prisoners were being forced to take pills that made them very sick.”

Although the outspoken MP did not mention the prisoner by name, the information which he tweeted Sunday, sheds light on the deaths of other protesters in custody.

The MP had recently confirmed the death of Sina Ghanbari, who was arrested during the protests in Tehran. “Unfortunately, the news of Sina Ghanbari’s passing is true and according to information from an intelligence source, he was arrested by the police, and reportedly committed suicide in Evin Prison.”

On Thursday, the organisation in charge of Iranian prisons denied prisoners had been forced to take medicine, calling the claims “lies and big accusations”, the state-run ISNA news agency reported.

More details keep coming out about brutality in prisons which has led to the deaths of detained protesters. A good number of protesters are missing.

Sarou Ghahremani, a Kurdish protester, 24, was arrested on Jan. 1 and his body was delivered to his parents 11 days later. Evidences strongly suggested that he had been tortured to death as bruises was seen all over his body.

Another protester, Kianoush Zandi was killed under torture at the Sanandaj Intelligence Agency. His body was handed over to his family at the same time as (slain protester) Sarou Ghahremani. A source close to Kianoush Zandi said that he was arrested after being directly shot by security forces. The source, on condition of anonymity, said the intelligence agents went to Kianoush’s home, detained his mother and buried his body on the same day.

Ali Pouladi, approximately 26, died in the northern Iranian Chalus prison. He was arrested by State Security Forces on January 22, and transferred to the Detention Center of the Awareness Unit. His family were told on January 13, 2018, that the young man passed away in custody and the family needs to take back the body. Ali’s brother however said Ali did not have a particular illness and he was in complete health at the time of his arrest.

Twenty-year-old protester Seyed Shahab Abtahi, who was arrested in recent protests in Arak was killed in prison. His body was left outside the door of his home after 10 days with bruises apparent all over his body.

According to Amnesty International at least two others who were arrested during the crackdown – Vahid Heydari and Mohsen Adeli – died in custody in Arak, Markazi province and Dezfoul, Khuzestan province this month, according to reports. In all four cases, activists and several family members have disputed official claims that these detainees committed suicide.