The authorities in Iran have refused to allow the families of five Kurdish activists hanged on Sunday to bury them, and have arrested the sister and mother of the only woman among the executed, one of the activists’ lawyers said Tuesday.
The sister and mother of the woman, Shirin Alamhooee, 28, were arrested at their home in the city of Makoo, in northwestern Iran, said the lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, in a telephone interview from Tehran. He also said the family was not even aware of the execution until Monday afternoon.
The government’s refusal to hand over the bodies to the families appears to stem from a fear of antigovernment demonstrations during burial ceremonies in Kurdish areas. Ethnic Kurds have come under increasing pressure since the large-scale protests last summer against the nation’s disputed elections, and at least two other Kurdish activists were executed late last year. At least 16 other Kurdish activists remain on death row, according to human rights groups.
“Not allowing families to bury the bodies of their loved ones is against the law, Islam and Shariah,” Mr. Bahramian said.
He said the authorities had told him they would bury the bodies and tell the families the location later. “They even turned down my request to allow the families to be present while they are burying them,” he said.