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Body Of Slain Protester Returned To Parents, Hastily Buried

Saro Ghahremani. Undated.
Saro Ghahremani. Undated.

Iranian authorities have handed over the body of 24-year-old Saro Ghahremani, who went missing during nationwide protests that started in late December, Human Rights websites and activists reported on Saturday.

According to the reports, Ghahremani’s parents were allowed to accompany their son’s body in the ambulance that took them to “Behesht-e Mohammadiyeh” cemetery in the Kurdish-majority city of Sanandaj.

Saro’s body was immediately buried in a ceremony attended only by his parents. Other family members were banned from attending by security forces.

Saro had reportedly been detained 11 days before his lifeless body was passed on to his family.

The pattern is not new to how families of slain dissidents are treated by the Islamic Republic. They are usually told not to hold funerals or memorials for their loved ones in fear of the event turning into a full-fledged protest.

Previously, official “requests” often turned into insidious threats if not heeded by the victim’s family.

The slain blogger Sattar Beheshti’s sister was arrested in 2016 during a ceremony held on her brother’s birthday. Sattar Beheshti was killed under torture in custody of Iran Cyber Police in 2012.

In recent protests, Iranian officials have confirmed that at least two detained protesters arrested during the anti-establishment protests in the cities of Tehran and Arak have died behind bars.

The officials say that Sina Ghanbari and Vahid Heydari committed suicide in Evin’s Quarantine ward and Arak prison, respectively.

Ghanbari, 23, died in custody in Tehran under unknown circumstances on January 7. The authorities claimed he killed himself in Evin Prison.

Heydari, 22, died in detention at the 12th Police Station in Arak at some point around the turn of the new year, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported.

His lawyer told CHRI that the authorities are trying to cover up the real reason for his death by claiming he committed suicide.

During recent protests in Iran, more than 3700 persons were detained. At least 22 to 25 protesters have been confirmed dead by authorities.