The grieving husband of a woman killed when Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a passenger jet on January 8 over Tehran says agents of the Intelligence Ministry have summoned the families of victims and "threatened" them.
On his Instagram page, Javad Soleimani said on Monday, March 2, that the Islamic Republic's intelligence agents have ordered the bereaved relatives to either keep mum about the tragedy or expect consequences.
Soleimani's wife, 31-year-old Elnaz Nabiyi, was killed along with 175 other people on board when the IRGC downed a 737 Boeing operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA).
Whoever is filing a complaint about the tragedy has been threatened, Soleimani reiterated on his Instagram page, adding, "They have told the relatives to keep silent, or expect consequences experienced by Pouya Bakhtiari's father."
Pouya Bakhtiari, 27, was shot in the head during the mid-November anti-Islamic Republic rallies in Iran.Days after Pouya Bakhtiari's death, his parents and several close relatives were detained.
The agents of the Ministry Intelligence and the fearsome IRGC Intelligence Organization threatened them to refrain from holding a memorial for their young son.
Since their release on January 24, they have preferred to stay in the shadows.
Soleimani also said, "The father of one of the victims has been forced to participate in an interview, while the intelligence agents have threatened the mother of another victim."
According to Soleimani, the agents of the Intelligence Ministry and the IRGC's Intelligence Organization are competing over silencing the relatives of the tragedy's victims.
Meanwhile, Soleimani has promised to disclose more information about the relatives' tribulations.
Soleimani, a postgraduate student at the Alberta School of Business in Canada, fled Iran after the Islamic republic intelligence apparatuses summoned him for his criticism of the country's political and military establishment.
"I decided to leave the country as soon as possible because I wasn't the person to go to their office and apologize for my criticism. So, I decided to leave Iran immediately and be the voice of the victims and their families," Soleimani said in a January 30 interview with Canada's CBC News Network.