Interview with Dr. Abdolreza Soudbakhsh’s son:
Dr. Soudbakhsh’s son has told the Rooz that his father was killed by the regime’s agents because he refused to give falsified testimony of the victims of the infamous Kahrizak prison.
Behrang Soudbakhsh told Rooz, “My father was asked to give a written testimony, confirming that Kahrizak’s victims have died of meningitis and his patients who had been freed from Kahrizak have been suffering from meningitis too. But my father refused to do so and he was assassinated afterwards.”
Although 11 months have passed since his death, no one responds to his family’s inquiries.
Abdolreza Soudbakhsh, a specialist in infectious diseases at Imam Khomeini hospital and professor at Tehran University, was shot dead on 21st September 2010 in front of his private clinic. Following his assassination, the police chief denied his murder had anything to do with the cases of alleged rapes in Kahrizak prison. But the reports suggest that Dr. Soudbakhsh had treated and done a medical examination on some of the victims who were reportedly raped in Kahrizak prison.
Some of detainees in Kahrizak who had become afflicted with infectious diseases in their genital organs had sought Dr. Soudbakhsh’s medical advice after they were set free from the prison.
Behrang Soudbakhsh, Dr. Soudbakhsh’s son, says “My father was killed because he did not want to lie, and he did not lie.”
The following is the Rooz interview with Behrang Soudbakhsh.
Mr. Soudbakhsh, 11 months have passed since your father‘s assassination. Where does your father’s case stand at the moment?
-Nothing has been done on my father’s case. No one has been arrested in regard to my father’s assassination. And whenever we ask about the case they say that it is under investigation and nothing else.
They have been from the beginning claiming that there had been a personal motivation behind your father’s murder. But they gave no explanation and have kept silent. Is that right?
Yes. They knew well that there had not been any personal motivation. We are absolutely confident that there was no personal motivation behind his murder. My father was not a wealthy man to be killed for his money or possessions, and he had no enemies either. All his patients loved him, and he had very friendly relations with them. Lots of people had come for his funeral that we didn’t know, and we later realized that they were my father’s patients. My father was really a good human being and he used to do whatever he could for help his patients. Even one day my mother realized that nearly $12,000 had been deducted from her account. When she asked my father, she realized that my father had given the money to one of his needy patient without taking any receipt or note. He used to do a lot of these kinds of jobs. We told the officers in the criminal investigation department (CID) that if there had been a personal motivation behind my father’s death, my father had to lodge a complaint not the one who had taken the money. Even the CID officers said that it could not be the case. We told CID officers that there cannot be a personal motivation behind my father’s murder. Ironically, I was asked very silly questions by CID officers. I had recently come back from India, and they were asking me questions about the life in India. How much is the rent for a flat? How much is the price of bread? How much is the price of petrol and these sorts of questions, as if they were to travel to India and asking for information. They asked me nothing about my father. The only question regarding my father’s case was whether I suspect anyone. I said no and said that I am confident that there is no personal motivation behind my father’s murder.
It was later said that your father’s file has been taken from CID. Where is your father’s file now? Do you have any news?
No. we don’t know. They refused to cooperate with inquiries to my father’s death.
What sorts of inquiries have you about the case?
According to the eye witness accounts, two unmasked men on a motorbike were roaming around my father’s private clinic for about half an hour. The killers appear to have been so unworried about being caught that they did not cover their faces. Secondly my father was shot from his side. They had though that my father had worn a bullet proof vest, but they shot him from his side where the vest didn’t protect his body. It shows that they were very well trained. Exactly at the same time a taxi driver had blocked the road for ten minutes. But the officials don’t say anything about the taxi driver and his role. We asked them about the taxi driver but they said that the CCTVs were not working at that moments and there was no footage available. Acts of murder happen everywhere in the world. But what has happened here to my father is pretty unique. CCTVs did not work exactly at the same the time when my father was killed, the taxi driver has not been identified, well trained killers came unmasked and killed my father and after 11 months no suspect has been arrested. That doesn’t happen anywhere. It is absolutely clear where they have been trained.
Where have they been trained? Who has organized the incident?
Look, everything is clear. These people had a gun with a silencer which itself carries heavier charges in Iran, because it is regarded as political crime. The killers were so confident of not being caught that they didn’t cover their faces, and after they shot my father, they left the scene and ran away through the Keshavarz BLV in opposite direction. After my father’s assassination, within 7 minutes approximately 100 security forces from a different organization came to the location. How could they do that in such short period of time? Had they been in a state of alert? Did they know anything about it beforehand? If we have such high security status in our country, why aren’t they able to arrest even a single suspect after eleven months? How is it possible that the CCTVs had not been working exactly at that time? Both the drug store and the clinic had CCTVs. The officers have taken the footage from the CCTVs to identify the killers. Can they really not identify them from the footages? That is impossible. We asked them to look up the footage, but didn’t reply to us. I assure you, and I am confident, that the entire story has been arranged by someone who is powerful. Even we were told that a person who had seen the killers and had gone to the CID to identify them was severely beaten by the officers. My brother had met with somebody who had been fined at exactly the same time and in same place. He then asked the officers that how the CCTVs could register a license plate number but not register the killer’s face. The only thing they said was that the CCTVs were not working at that time.
It was believed that some of Kahrizak’s detainees were your father’s patients. But the police said that your father had nothing to do to with Kahrizak?
It is like claiming that I have nothing to do with my father. How is it possible? My father’s files are there and everything is registered. Among my father’s patients were victims of Kahrizak prison who were raped there. My father specialized in infectious diseases. I still remember that he was taken aback by what had happened at Kahrizak prison. Once my father asked how could they rape an 18-year-old kid so severely that he died after that? How could they rape the children? My father’s medical files are available and no one can deny that.
Mr. Soudbakhsh, you believe that your father was killed because he knew what had happened at Kahrizak. Is that what you want to say?
Yes. My father was really a good man. He had an honorable life, and he never lied. He was a simple man who was committed to law and moral principles. My father was told to say that victims of Kahrizak had meningitis. He asked to see the dead bodies, and when he examined them, he concluded that they had died under torture, not meningitis. He was even under pressure to report that his patients’ genital and urinary infections were result of meningitis. But my father refused to give in. Once my father had made an interview with German radio in which he disclosed the genital infections in some victims of Kahrizak. My father was about to leave Iran on the night of his assassination. We are three brothers, and we live abroad. Only my mother and sister live inside Iran. They thought that my father had sent his family overseas and he himself was to leave Iran. They were thinking that my father was going to the US to reveal his information in detail in an open society. My father was one of the few experts in Iran who had precise information on the issue.
What are you going to do in the end? 11 months have passed since your father’s assassination and no investigation has been made so far. How are you going to follow your father’s case?
If they don’t introduce the killer or killers, we will definitely follow the case through the international bodies and institutions.
What would like to say as conclusion?
My father was really a good man. Those who knew my father know this. He was killed because he was an honest man and did not lie. He was asked to lie, but he didn’t lie. He was entire our life who was unfortunately killed. Though there is not promising prospect for a just trial of the killers, we definitely follow the case, and we will not let my father’s killers run away.