Iran Daily: Regime Arrests 3 More Environmentalists

Academic and environmental activist Kavous Seyed-Emami, who died under interrogation in Evin Prison in Tehran in early February 2018

Iran’s regime has arrested three more environmentalists on spying charges.

Continuing a crackdown on researchers and activists in which 10 people have been detained and one has died in custody, Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei announced the latest detentions on Sunday.

“There is no doubt that infiltration by the United States and Israel is a serious matter,” Ejei said, without offering any further information.

The crackdown began on January 24 with Kavous Seyed-Emami, the Iranian-Canadian managing director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation and a Professor of Sociology at Tehran’s Imam Sadegh University. Authorities told Seyed-Emami’s family on February 9 that he had died in prison, claiming that he committed suicide.

The family has not accepted the explanation of the officials.

A day after the revelation of Seyed-Emami’s death, the detentions of at least seven other staff of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation were confirmed.

Iranian officials have declared that the environmentalists were spying for the CIA and Israel’s Mossad, including monitoring of nuclear and missile sites, and passing sensitive “environmental data” to the Americans and Israelis. The former head of Iran’s armed forces even declared that the environmentalists could have used lizards attracting “atomic waves” to collect information on the Iranian nuclear program.

No evidence has been offered to support the claim, although State broadcaster IRIB ran a series of allegations against Seyed-Emami as questions continued over his death in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

“Given the events that have occurred, if a competent and legal agency does not intervene and doesn’t give its opinion on the dead individual or those under arrest, public opinion will not believe they are spies even if they are convicted,” said former Intelligence Minister Ali Younesi, an advisor to President Hassan Rouhani, in an interview published on Sunday.

Younesi called for the Intelligence Ministry to take over the case from the Revolutionary Guards.

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  1. “The family has not accepted the explanation of the officials.”

    The family is not all speaking with one voice. The brother of Kavous Seyed-Emami, Kamran, has accepted that the death was a suicide. The son, Ramin, has said that the CCTV film of his father’s last hours is not conclusive and doesn’t show the actual death (which is what MPs who have seen it have also confirmed). They are also awaiting the autopsy report and the results of blood tests to see if the professor may have had a stroke.

    • To be exact, Iranian semi-official media *claimed* Kamran Seyed-Emami accepted the suicide verdict — at the same time that they falsely claimed the family considered the case closed.

      • The interview with Kamran Seyed-Emami indicated he thought the case was closed and the family allowed to grieve in privacy. However, Ramin (King Raam) has stated there should be an independent probe into the death of his father, and the family lawyer, Payam Derafshan, wants to see the results of the prison autopsy and blood tests to confirm that sucide by hanging took place. No member of the family has claimed that Dr. Seyed-Emami was tortured or murdered, as alleged by Dr. Nader Hashemi and Farnaz Fassihi on their twitter accounts. The family accept that the academic was under considerable psychological stress prior to his death (according to the CCTV film) but also suspect he may have suffered a stroke in the bathroom of his cell.

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