Outcry against Haleh Sahabi’s death

Mon, 06/06/2011

Female political prisoners in Iran have issued a statement condemning the “lies in the government media about Haleh Sahabi’s death” and calling for those responsible for her death to be brought to justice.

Sahabi, an activist, died after Islamic Republic security forces attacked the funeral of her father and, according to eyewitness reports, subjected her to beatings.

Sahabi was serving a sentence for her involvement in protests against the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. She was temporarily released from prison after her father went into a coma before his death.

On Sunday, female political prisoners released their announcement to the Kaleme opposition website, calling for the identification and prosecution of those who caused what they refer to as her “martyrdom.”

The state denies any connection between Haleh Sahabi’s death and the security forces at the scene, claiming she died from a heart attack brought on by the stress of her loss. But hundreds of Iranian activists and prominent figures have challenged the official position and called for an investigation of her death.

Haleh Sahabi’s remains were seized by government forces and given a speedy burial on the very night of her father’s funeral.

Sahabi’s former cellmates at Evin have challenged the state’s version of events that led to her death, and two Nationalist-Religious prisoners, Hoda Saber and Amirkhosro Dekirsani, have announced that they are going on a hunger strike to protest what happened.

Meanwhile, 750 Iranian activists issued a statement saying the struggles of Ezzatollah and Haleh Sahabi for “freedom, peace and equality will continue haunting the Iranian establishment.”

“Despite all efforts by the Iranian government, the lives and deaths of the Sahabis are enmeshed with the fight for freedom in this country,” the Iranian activists write.

The Nationalist-Religious Coalition of Iran, which Ezzatollah Sahabi led until his death, issued a statement last week calling for a fair and open investigation of the perpetrators of the “shocking crime against Haleh Sahabi.”

The state has not responsed to the outrage triggered by Haleh Sahabi’s death.




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