Human Rights Watch (HRW) has joined a chorus of calls for an independent inquiry into the death of a 63-year-old Iranian-Canadian academic and environmental activist in a Tehran prison.

Iran’s authorities say Kavous Seyed-Emami committed suicide while in custody, but his family and activists cast doubt on the official account and request an independent autopsy on his body.

Seyed-Emami was buried on February 13 in the village of Amaneh, 40 kilometers north of the capital Tehran.

In a February 13 statement, HRW said it is the third “suspicious death” among detainees in Iranian prisons since early January that authorities have labeled as suicide, which the New York-based rights group said underscored the need for an independent inquiry.

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