Two activists arrested and charged for participating in the widespread protests calling for the demise of Iran’s Islamic regime were reportedly tortured to death in prison in Iranian Kurdistan.
Saro Ghahremani, a Kurdish protester, 24, died in Sanandaj prison in Iranian Kurdistan and Ali Poladi, approximately 26, died in the northern Iranian Chalus prison, according to the Kurdish outlet Rudaw. Both men were reportedly tortured to death.
Iranian officials claim, as they have in many similar cases, that the men committed suicide.
According to Radio Farda, Ghahremani’s parents accompanied their son’s lifeless body in the ambulance on their way to Behesht-e Mohammadiyeh cemetery in the Kurdish-majority city of Sanandaj, where his body was immediately buried. Rudaw noted that Ghahremani’s mother noticed injuries on her son’s body that she believed were telltale signs of beatings.
A third person, Sina Ghanbari, 23, reportedly died in custody in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on January 7. The circumstances surrounding his death are unknown, though authorities also claimed he committed suicide.
Radio Farda reported that Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi said, “More than 40 members of the Iranian Parliament have voiced support for human rights activists and organizations calling for an independent investigation into the deaths of detained protesters.”
Iran has consistently accused the United States, the West, and “Zionists” of conspiring to cause the protests, despite years of outcry from the Iranian people, and minority groups, against the regime.
Last week, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in remarks on the protests that “Americans and Zionists” had hatched the “plot” that led to the Iranians protesting against his regime.
Chants of “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to Rouhani” have been recorded in protests that began in late December, largely fueled by the nation’s mostly secular youth who nearly ten years after the fall of protests in 2009, which then-president Barack Obama did not support, renewed calls for a change in Iran’s Islamic dictatorial government.
On Thursday, the State Department announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran had arrested at least 1,000 Iranians.
Reports from inside Iran and from the regime have that number at at least 8,000 people detained so far.