The family of the Iranian-Canadian academic, Kavous Seyed-Emami, whose death in custody in Iran was announced on February 9, is under intense pressure to immediately bury Seyed-Emami in a private funeral—without receiving any independent and medically corroborated information on the cause of his death—and to remain silent regarding the death.

Seyed-Emami died under highly suspicious circumstances while in detention in Evin Prison. The authorities are calling his death a suicide—the third death in prison that has been labelled a suicide in recent days despite near universal doubts regarding the veracity of such claims.

“Iran’s judiciary must allow an independent and transparent autopsy of Kavous Seyed-Emami’s body in order for the family and the public to know how he died,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

A relative living abroad who is aware of the details of the case told CHRI that Seyed-Emami’s family told the authorities that they wanted an independent autopsy. The authorities reportedly told the family that they would do an autopsy, but as of the evening of February 11, it is not clear that one has been done and no results providing any information on the cause of death have been released to the family.

“You cannot be both the accused and the investigator and expect people to believe your conclusion,” said the relative.

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