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Iranian scholar and environmental activist dies in prison
12 February 2018, 02:54 | Devin Moran
Iranian-Canadian academic's death in prison in Iran is a 'profound tragedy,' says U of L professor
He had taught sociology for decades at Tehran's Imam Sadegh University, considered a hard-line institution where future leaders of the Iranian establishment are trained.
Seyed-Emami is the second Iranian-Canadian to die in prison in Iran following the murder of 54-year-old photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in 2003. "I still can't believe this", Ramin, a well-known singer, said.
The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), a non-profit group based in NY, said at least nine other staff members and executives of Seyed-Emami's organization had been arrested on the same day as him, citing a relative of one of those detained.
The Iran Sociological Association, to which Seyed Emami belonged, questioned the government's official version of events.
Until then, Sadri said he will continue to mourn Seyed-Emami's death and remember his passion and love for the outdoors and hiking.
"These people collected classified information in strategic sectors of the country in the name of scientific and environmental projects", he was quoted as saying by the Mizan Online news agency, which is linked to the judiciary.
Authorities arrested almost 5,000 people in the crackdown that followed, according to Alireza Rahimi, an Iranian lawmaker. At least 25 people were killed in clashes. Since the most-recent protests, activists have said they also remain concerned by reported suicides within Iran's prison system. A United Nations panel in September described "an emerging pattern involving the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of dual nationals" in Iran, which Tehran denies.
Human rights groups outside the country have accused Iranian authorities of systematic abuses in prisons.
Iranian businessman Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father Baquer, a former UNICEF representative who served as governor of Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province under the US -backed shah, are both serving 10-year sentences on espionage charges. Shahini is believed to still be in Iran.
He is also listed as managing director of the which works to protect threatened wildlife in Iran. He was sentenced to 10 years last year on espionage-related charges.
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