Family of activist seeks post-mortem
TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse
The family of an environmentalist who died in an Iranian prison has called for a post-mortem, their lawyer said on Feb. 13, rejecting claims by officials that they had accepted the explanation of suicide.
“The family has put in a request for a post-mortem,” Arash Keikhosravi, lawyer for the family of Iranian-Canadian Kavous Seyed Emami, told the reformist Shargh newspaper.
He said the coroner’s office had also put in a routine request for a post-mortem.
Emami’s family were informed on Friday that the renowned professor and founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation had died in custody just over two weeks after being arrested on espionage charges.
On Feb. 12, Allaedin Borujerdi, head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, said the family had watched a film from his cell and accepted the official explanation that the 63-year-old had committed suicide.
“In the film you see that Kavous Seyed Emami is taking off his shirt and is getting prepared for suicide,” Borujerdi told the parliament news agency.
“His family too have accepted this incident and so have not asked for an autopsy,” he added.
However, the family’s lawyer told Shargh: “I do not confirm Mr Borujerdi’s remarks that the family did not request a post-mortem.”
Emami’s son Ramin, a well-known singer, said on Instagram that the family had launched a legal complaint over the death.
“It is absolutely essential that you rely on my Instagram, Telegram and Twitter posts for official news relating to future findings. There are no other reliable sources,” he said.
He said the family was due to receive the body on Feb. 13 and that a funeral would take place in the village of Ammameh, 40 kilometers north of Tehran.
Asked about the family’s reaction to the film, their lawyer said: “There are scenes showing Mr Seyed Emami in his solitary cell.