Iranian academics demand answers over death of jailed activist

President Hassan Rouhani urged to analyze alleged suicide of Kavous Seyed Emami

1280 - Iranian academics demand answers over death of jailed activist

Kavous Seyed Emami. Iran’s educational neighborhood is in shock after the famend environmentalist’s death.
Photograph: HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images

Leading academics in Iran have written to the nation’s president, Hassan Rouhani, to demand answers after a famend environmentalist allegedly killed himself in jail.

The household of Kavous Seyed Emami, 63, a professor at Imam Sadegh University and founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was advised on Saturday that he had killed himself in jail two weeks after his arrest.

A judiciary official stated on Sunday that he had confessed to crimes associated to an espionage investigation. Seven different members of his wildlife NGO are nonetheless behind bars.

“The news of the death of Dr Kavous Seyed Emami has astounded and shocked the scientific community and the environmental activists of the country,” 4 educational societies wrote in an open letter to Rouhani.

“In addition to being a well-known professor, a distinguished scientist and war veteran … he was a noble and ethical human being,” the letter stated. “The news and rumours related to his arrest and death are not believable.”

The letter was printed by 4 main associations in areas of political science, sociology, peace research and cultural research, which embrace professors from Iran’s high universities.

They wrote: “Our minimum expectation is that you take immediate and effective action to seriously investigate the case … and make the institutions involved in this painful loss accountable.”

Asked concerning the case on Monday, the judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie advised the reformist ILNA information company: “I have heard he committed suicide, but I have so far no information on the details. This recent incident is under investigation.”

The atmosphere division denied rumours that its deputy head, Kaveh Madani, had been arrested. The reformist MP Mahmoud Sadeghi had tweeted on Sunday that the division had advised him Madani had been arrested over the weekend.

A senior official on the division, who didn’t want to be named, stated on Monday that this was incorrect and that Madani was at work.

A tweet was printed on Madani’s private Twitter account early on Monday for the primary time in three days. “Hopeful for narrowmindness to get wiped out. Hopeful for peace of mind for environmental activists. Hopeful for the removal of concern of those awaiting the return of loved ones,” it learn.

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