Deceased Blogger’s Mother Requests Exhumation
“I didn’t ask for the body to be exhumed to humiliate the regime. I had no other choice than to say this when the Medical Examiner’s Office announced that my son’s death was by natural causes. I believe that the Medical Examiner’s Office humiliated the regime by its final opinion. What kind of opinion was this which they announced after nine months? Why doesn’t the investigative judge in this case, who says he is carefully reviewing the case, summon the 41 prisoners inside the political ward of Evin Prison, who saw my son the night before his death inside Evin Prison in dire shape? They have all said that they are willing to testify. Why don’t they summon one of them?” Sattar Beheshti’s mother told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Gohar Eshghi told the Campaign that she has not yet submitted a formal request for Sattar Beheshti’s body to be exhumed. “Despite all the injustice done in the case of my son and us, we still consider the Judiciary the authority to implement justice. I hope that the Judiciary authorities step in themselves and review this case fairly. Asking for the body to be exhumed is one of the tools for enforcing justice, but I hope that things will not get to that and for the case to be reviewed fairly,” she said.
Sattar Beheshti’s mother stated recently in an interview with Saham News website that she had requested for her son’s body to be exhumed in order to clarify his cause of death. “Exhuming the body is neither in the country’s best interest, nor in the regime’s best interest. It is in no one’s interest. We are not trying to humiliate the regime, but when our rights are trampled, we have to respond,” she said.
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, the Head of the Iranian Medical Examiner’s Office said on July 9 that according to the final report from the organization, the blows to Sattar Beheshti were not fatal and could not have caused his death. Dr. Ahmad Shojaei also said that the toxicology reports did not indicate anything that would point to a death by unnatural causes.
In an earlier interview with the Campaign, in reaction to the final statement made by the Medical Examiner’s Office, lawyer Giti Pourfazel, representing the late Sattar Beheshti’s family, said, “My question is, if Sattar died of natural causes, why did the Cyber Police forces forcefully take Sattar’s family to a registry office in order to take their consent [to waive their rights]? This action shows that the Cyber Police thought itself involved in this death and wanted to take the family’s consent before any other action.”
Sattar Beheshti, 35, a laborer and blogger, was arrested by Iran’s Cyber Police on charges of “acting against national security through activities in social networks and Facebook.” He was brutally tortured during his interrogations and died in the process. He was buried at Robat Karim Cemetery near where he lived. His date of death is officially registered as November 3, 2012.
After news of Sattar Beheshti’s death was published, 41 Evin Prison political prisoners published a letter on Kaleme website and stated that Sattar Beheshti had been held at Evin Prison’s Ward 350 on October 31 and November 1, 2012, and that signs of torture could be seen all over different parts of his body.
In a press release issued November 9, 2012, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran quoted one of Sattar Beheshti’s relatives who had seen his corpse prior to burial saying, “[T]here was a large dent on his head and … they had put plaster over his head. His face was swollen…. As soon as they untied his shroud it became completely bloody, and there were signs of an autopsy on his body, as well.”