A spokesman for the Iranian regime’s judiciary has claimed that Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi, a Kurdish student arrested in Sanandaj on 6 January, had hanged himself in his cell.
Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi, a fourth year law student at the Payam Noor University in Sanandaj, Iranian Kurdistan, was taken into custody by intelligence officers after leaving a university examination hall. Nine days later his family were told that he had died.
At the time Sanandaj’s intelligence authorities told Lotf-Allahi’s family that Ebrahim had committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell. The judiciary has now officially announced this to the press. But Lotfollahi’s family do not accept that their son has committed suicide while under arrest. They have asked the Sanandaj prosecutor’s office to issue an order that his body be exhumed, the cause of death determined and that those responsible be punished.
Ebrahim was buried at night by intelligence officers: without his family’s knowledge or access to the body. Later on cemetery officials showed them the location of their son’s grave. The family’s lawyer has said that there is no precedent in Sanandaj for the body of someone who has died in prison to not be given over to the family. He also added that if Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi really had committed suicide, then by turning over the body to the coroner’s office, the cause death could have been establish and his family convinced about the reason for their loss.
A judiciary spokesman has said that Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi’s death is under investigation but that there would have to be a court order before the body can be exhumed.
Many human rights organisations have expressed concern about Ebrahim’s death and have asked the Iranian government to investigate. It is clear to everyone in Iran, however, that this is yet another crime committed by this reactionary regime in its 29-year reign of terror. Even if the state murder of Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi can be pinned to a single interrogator exceeding his authority, the ultimate responsibility lies with this blood-soaked and barbarous form of bourgeois dictatorship.
Militaant, journal of revolutionary socialist youth in Iran.