UN: Iran accused of withholding bodies of those killed in protests

United States on Friday denounced Iranian authorities, who are suspected of preventing the burial of journalist Reza Haghighatnejad, saying the Islamic Republic fears journalists even after they are dead.

Tehran: With dozens of deaths during the ongoing protests in Iran since September 16, against the background of the death of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, the authorities are still tightening the noose around the families of these dead and detainees as well.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Office (UNHCR) expressed concern about Iran’s treatment of detained protesters and indicated that the authorities were refusing to release some of the bodies of those killed.

“We have seen a lot of mistreatment, but we are also seeing harassment of the families of the protesters,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, told a news briefing in Geneva, citing several sources.

MS Education Academy

She also added that the authorities refuse in some cases to hand over the bodies of the dead protesters to their families or to hand them over to their families, on the condition that they do not hold a funeral or speak to the media.

Where did the Iranian authorities take the body of journalist Reza Haghighatnejad?

The family of the Iranian journalist at Radio Farda, Reza Haghighatnejad, is still unaware of the whereabouts of their son’s body, two days after the Iranian authorities allegedly kidnapped his body from Shiraz airport after he was transferred to Iran for burial in his hometown.

45-year-old Reza Haghighatnejad, who left Iran in 2008, died of cancer in Germany on October 17.

In a video clip, the mother of the deceased journalist Reza Haghighatnejad asked the Iranians for their support to recover his body.

The mother of Reza Haghighatnejad, called for her voice to be heard by all the people of the country, and said that after her son left Iran for Germany, she had not seen him in the past six years, and was not aware of cancer he had been suffering for the past six months.

She added that the security forces prevented the family from accessing his body.

About six months ago, Reza Haghighatnejad, a well-known journalist on Radio Farda, was diagnosed with colon cancer and its spread to the liver and spent a period of treatment in Prague.

He then continued treatment in Berlin about a month ago, but despite undergoing chemotherapy, he developed liver and kidney failure and died.

Reza died on the morning of October 17 in Berlin’s Charite Hospital, Germany. With the permission of the Iranian embassy, ​​his body was taken to Shiraz on October 25 for burial in Iran.

As per media reports, security forces pressured the family of Reza to bury his body in a place far from his hometown, but the journalist’s family refused this demand, and his body is still reportedly in possession of the security forces.

Reza’s position on the protests while battling the disease

Haghighatnejad was not indifferent to the latest developments in Iran and the protests that have swept the entire country since the death of Mahsa Amini, despite his battle with cancer.

In his last tweets on October 3, which he posted 14 days before his death, he commented on protest videos of Iranian students who participated in the recent demonstrations, saying, “They taught us awareness, unity, courage and victory.”

According to AFP, the United States on Friday denounced Iranian authorities, who are suspected of preventing the burial of journalist Reza Haghighatnejad, saying the Islamic Republic fears journalists even after they are dead.

“We are disgusted to learn that the IRGC seized Reza’s remains at the airport and are pressuring the family to agree to have his body buried elsewhere,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told AFP reporters.

It is noteworthy that since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, the protests have not subsided in the country, after they turned into popular discontent presented by young men and women, students and students, calling for political changes and an end to the repression of the authorities.

Her death sparked unprecedented protests in Iran three years ago, in a message of defiance to the authorities that used methods of repression, violence and live bullets, according to what was confirmed by more than one human rights organization recently.

The violent behaviour of the security forces led to dozens of deaths, while hundreds were arrested.

Back to top button