TEHRAN — A well-known Iranian-Canadian professor has died in prison in Tehran, a statement posted on his son’s Instagram page revealed on Saturday, and his family is seeking an independent autopsy.
The professor, Kavous Seyed Emami, was one of the founders of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Iran’s most prominent nongovernmental organization focused on the environment.
On Friday, his wife received a phone call from prison authorities saying that her husband had committed suicide in Evin prison, his son said in his post. Mr. Seyed Emami had been arrested on Jan. 24, and, according to the family, was detained by intelligence agents along with several other environmental activists, including Morad Tahbaz, a visiting Iranian-American businessman.
The death of Mr. Seyed Emami is among a number involving recently detained activists. Prison authorities insist that at least three prisoners who died after they were arrested during nationwide protests in December also died by suicide. Many prominent Iranians have assailed that conclusion.
On Saturday, Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, Tehran’s public prosecutor, said that several people who had been posing as environmentalists were arrested and charged with espionage, according to a report from the Young Journalists Club.
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