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Outspoken Daughter Of Slain Iranian Dissidents Going On Trial For 'Spreading Propaganda'

"It's a fact that the security establishment murdered my parents," says Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar. "They said themselves that they did it."

The murders of Parastou Forouhar's parents were pinned on Iran's Intelligence Ministry. Now, the same ministry is going after the artist for speaking out about their deaths and her alleged ties by extension to a scandal over an activist who was photographed drinking wine.

Forouhar will go on trial on November 25, three days after the 19th anniversary of the deaths of her parents, Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar. The two political activists and dissidents were stabbed to death in their Tehran home in November 1998 in a killing that officials later blamed on rogue intelligence agents, despite suggestions otherwise.

Their deaths were part of a series of extrajudicial killings of Iranian dissidents and intellectuals that later came to be known as the "Chain Murders of Iran."

Authorities said the agents responsible for the killings had acted "arbitrarily." An investigative journalist and activists suggested that senior officials had authorized the killings, however.

Forouhar, an artist based in Germany who travels to Tehran every fall to hold a memorial service for her parents, has suggested that she's being pressured over her efforts to keep her parents' memories alive, as well as her calls for justice.

Parvaneh Forouhar was murdered in her home in Tehran in 1998, along with her husband, Dariush (not pictured).
Parvaneh Forouhar was murdered in her home in Tehran in 1998, along with her husband, Dariush (not pictured).

The charges against Forouhar include "spreading propaganda against the [Iranian] establishment," which she says stems from her interviews and attempts at raising awareness about the killings.

"The [Intelligence Ministry] charged me with 'propaganda against the state' because they said I gave interviews [to foreign media] and condemned the security establishment for murdering my parents," Forouhar told the New York-based Center For Human Rights In Iran last week.

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