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Iranian blogger commits suicide after interrogation

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Julie Tomlin
WVoN co-editor

Human rights organisations have called for an investigation into the suicide of an Iranian activist two months after she was interrogated by security forces.

Nahal Sahabi, a blogger who wrote political poetry and literature and was a supporter of the green opposition movement, killed herself on 28 September.

Opposition activists believe Sahabi and Behnam Ganji, who was also arrested and took his own life on 1 September, had been under intense pressure to testify against their friend Kouhyar Goudarzi.

Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, said there is “an urgent need” to investigate what happened to Sahabi and Ganji inside Evin prison and during their interrogations.

“Interrogators and intelligence agents are on a rampage inside prisons and there are no constraints on their horrific treatment of prisoners,” said Ghaemi.

“The Iranian intelligence has a long history of putting prisoners under unbearable pressure and using inhumane means to destroy their mental stability, often leading to severe consequences even after their release.”

Before her arrest, Sahabi had written about the death of Haleh Sahabi during the funeral procession for her father Ezatollah Sahabi (see WVoN story) and of another political activist Hoda Saber.

A number of women activists have been arrested by the Iranian authorities during a two-year crackdown since 2009 that has already seen 34 women incarcerated in Evin prison (see WVoN story).

Nothing has been heard of Goudarzi, a prominent human rights activist, since his arrest on the same day as his two friends.

His mother, Parvin Mokhtare, was also arrested in her home and has since been put on trial for a number of charges including “actions against national security by interviewing with foreign media.”

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