Canadian-Iranian Professor dead under suspicious circumstances in Iranian prison – Canada must act

The reason for Seyed-Emami’s arrest is not clear, however, according to Center for Human Rights in Iran, a day after his suspicious death in prison “Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced that an Iranian security agency had arrested some people for alleged espionage.


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Kavous Seyed-Emami
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Iranian Canadian Professor Kavous Seyed-Emami died in prison in Iran, on Friday, February 9th under suspicious circumstances.  

Seyed-Emami, (63), was a professor of sociology at Imam Sadeq University in Tehran and the managing director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which seeks to protect Iran’s rare animals.

Seyed-Emami was arrested on January 24th, 2018, and the news of his death was given to his wife on Friday, February 9th, 2018. The Islamic Regime has claimed that Seyed-Emami committed suicide just days after his arrest, a highly suspicious and unlikely assertion which the regime has used previously to try to explain the suspicious death of two Protesters last month.

The reason for Seyed-Emami’s arrest is not clear, however, according to Center for Human Rights in Iran, a day after his suspicious death in prison “Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced that an Iranian security agency had arrested some people for alleged espionage. These individuals were gathering classified information in strategic fields under the guise of scientific and environmental projects,” Dowlatabadi claimed on February 10, without providing further details.”

Unfortunately, Seyed-Emami is not the first Iranian Canadian to be killed in Islamic Regime Prisons. In 2003 Iranian Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested while taking pictures of families of political prisoners outside of the notorious Evin Prison. She was arrested, tortured and died shortly after as a result of torture.

It should be noted that there are currently 12 dual nationals being held in prison in Iran, two of them Iranian Canadian dual national or permanent residents. Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani is serving a five-year sentence on “espionage charges” while Saeed Malekpour is serving a life sentence on the vague charge of “insulting the sacred”

What is extremely troubling is the silence of Justin Trudeau’s government in the face of the suspicious death of an Iranian-Canadian dual citizen, who despite Islamic Regime’s insistence that he committed suicide most likely was murdered under torture.

One of Justin Trudeau’s promises before becoming Canada’s prime minister was that he would start re-engaging Iran and would reinstate diplomatic relations.  Since coming to power, Justin Trudeau has continued to talk about re-engagement while staying silent in the face of some of the most atrocious human rights violations committed by the Regime, presumably to protect his agenda to re-engage one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world.

Tredeau remained silent during the nationwide  #IranProtests that rocked Iran and demanded the end to the Islamic dictatorship, and he continues to remain silent when an Iranian Canadian dies in Islamic Regime prisons when he should be the first one to demand an independent investigation into the death of Seyed-Emami.

In January of this year, people of Iran made it clear that they would no longer remain silent in the face of systematic oppression, arrests, torture, and executions.

Their message was loud and clear, and the world heard their voices.

The question remains when Trudeau will start hearing those voices?


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Sayeh Hassan

Sayeh Hassan is a Toronto-based criminal defence lawyer, blogger, and an advocate for human rights and democracy in Iran.

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