Hassan Heydari, a young popular dissident poet has died in hospital – sparking impromptu protests and vigils from hundreds of people in in Ahwaz, the capital southwestern Khuzestan province.
Hassan Heydari, a young popular dissident poet, died in the city’s Shafa hospital under suspicious circumstances a month after his arrest by Iranian authorities.
Hassan Heydari was initially arrested last year for his writing but later released on bail.
Locals say the regime’s Intelligence Ministry agents poisoned him.
Hundreds of people in Ahwaz took to the streets Sunday to protest Hassan Heydari’s death which they believe was suspicious.
Videos on social media show people have blocked a main road and some protesters have started large fires in the streets. In one video sounds resembling sporadic gunfire is heard.
Numerous people have died in recent years while in authorities’ custody.
The most recent case concerns Benyamin Alboghbiesh a 28-year-old detainee from the Ahwazi Arab minority who also died under suspicious circumstances in June 2019.
Benyamin Alboghbiesh was arrested on 26 May. Just a month later, on 26 June, his family were informed by an intelligence official believed to be affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards that he had died at a detention center in Ahwaz.
During December 2017 and January 2018 protests at least 14 detainees have been identified by name as having died in Iran’s prisons. In several cases the authorities announced immediately that the deaths were the result of suicide – claims that family members and human rights groups strongly disputed.