In the meanwhile, the attention of the international community is focusing on the third round of UN sanctions on Iran and the disqualification of reformist candidates from the next March parliamentary elections in Iran, the IRI apparently committed another crime by killing a dissident under suspicious circumstances.
Mr. Ebrahimi Lotfallahi, an Iranian law student of Kurdish descent detained by the Ministry of Intelligence on January 6”, died in the prison of Sanandaj, in Iran’s Kurdish north-western region, on January 15th.2008.
According to the local authorities, Mr. Lotfollahi committed suicide in prison. He was buried without the authorisation from his family who had requested in vain for an autopsy to be conducted. The family suspects his suicide and request an official investigation over the reasons of his death.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI), Ligue de Droits de l’Homes en Iran, also urge the regime to investigate the Ebrahim Lotfollahi’s death.
Mr. Ebrahim Lotfollahi’s death recalls the other cases of suspicious death committed in IRI’s prisons:
-- Ms. Zahra Bani-Ameri, a physician, died in prison in the city of Hamedan, on October 13th, 2007 in what was also claimed to be a suicide. Ms. Bani-Ameri was arrested, with her fiancé, on October 12th, 2007, for having an «illegal relationship» --according to Islamic law, Sharia, relationships between men and women out of marriage are subject to criminal punishment.
-- The other case is that of Mrs. Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist who was raped and killed by Islamic authorities in July 11, 2003, almost three weeks after she was arrested for taking pictures outside evin prison during a student protest in Tehran. Her death was severely condemned by Canada.
In the case of Mr. Loftollahi's death, no government in the West has already condemned the crime or at least requested an official investigation over the circumstances of his death.
FIDH and LDDHI have recently urged the IRI to put an immediate end to the current increasing repression against civil society and political activists, especially the student and the women’s right movement, in conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
FIDH and LDDHI’s requests have been usually ignored by the IRI. The fact is that the IRI’s human rights records are not the decisive factors for the West in its détente or standoff with the IRI. The IRI knows and uses this western apathy as a carte blanche to further repress the civil society and opposition in Iran.
While bargaining with the West over its nuclear programme, the IRI knows that no government in the West cares about Mr. Lofftollahi’s death or such crimes.
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