Iran Daily: MPs Call for Investigation of Detainee Deaths

Families outside Evin Prison, January 9, 2018

More than 40 MPs have reportedly called for an independent investigation into the deaths of detainees during Iran’s recent nationwide protests.

Reformist MP Mahmoud Sadeghi revealed the initiative on Monday, saying a letter has been to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. He published a copy of the letter on Twitter but did not give the names of the signatories.

Up to five detainees died in custody during the protests which surged in Iran’s second city Mashhad on December 28 and soon spread to almost all Iranian cities. Iranian authorities have spoken about two of the cases, saying the protesters committed suicide.

Activists and relatives have claimed that there are indications the deatinees were beaten during interrogation.

The Center for Human Rights in Iran says there was a severe blow to the skull of Vahid Heydari, 22, who died in a prison in Arak.

A request by two MPs to visit Tehran’s Evin prison has been rejected.

Iranian authorities said 1,800 people were held at some point during the protests, but Sadeghi and activists say the actual figure is close to 4,000.

The Iranian judiciary said on Sunday that 400 demonstrators are still behind bars.

See Iran Daily, Jan 15: Regime — 400 Protesters Still Detained

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. “Up to five detainees died in custody during the protests.”

    Three deaths in custody have been confirmed (Heydari. Ghanbari and Gharemani). Two more have been claimed by Nasrin Sotoudeh without naming one of them. CHRI names a source for their “information” about the death of Heydari, but it is doubtful that Ali Bagheri, the Arak-based activist they use as the source (if that is his real name), actually knows the family of Mr. Heydari or spoke with them. The suggestion that all three committed “suicide” is implausible even if it is possible. However, they may have arrived in prison having suffered injuries beforehand.

  2. Not sure what everyone is suspicious of. In iri the opposition detainees have habit of committing suicide under arrest, and similarly russian opposition really like their morning nuke infused tea, if that doesn’t do it a stray bullet will. That is totally normal and natural course of life, according to mullahs and Putin.

    On the other hand, living a filthy rotten hungry day in the west may be far from ideal and promises, but it lets you live another day to voice your objections without being found in the morgue next day.

  3. Iran Arrests Leaders of Recent Riots in Isfahan (province):

    “The security and law enforcement police officials said that the four women had played a role in provoking the protestors during the recent riots in Isfahan and were detained. They added that preliminary investigations disclosed that they had links with an online movement named ‘My Stealthy Freedom’ that was commenced in 2014 by Masih Alinejad, an Iran-born anti-revolutionary journalist and activist based in Britain and the US, as well as a the West-based Telegram channel, Sedaei Mardom (formerly known as Amad News), which released fake reports on continued protests in Tehran.”

    Masih Alinejad, a former investigative reporter for the reformist Hambastegi newspaper, was prominent on VOA during the recent unrest, calling for a referendum to be held to put an end to the Islamic Republic as a political system, She also called the Iranian government “liars” and “no better than Daesh”::


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