Yaser Mangouri, a 31-year-old Kurd from Piranshar, a city in the West Azerbaijan Province in Iran, died under torture by the Iranian intelligence service after a two-month detention at Urmia Prison, a human rights organisation reported.
Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights quoted a source close to the Mangouri family saying, “On Wednesday, 8 September 2021, the Iranian Intelligence Service in Urmia contacted the family of Yaser Mangouri and informed them about his death. They told Yasser’s family that he had been killed in a clash with security forces two months ago.”
The human rights organisation reported that Yaser Mangouri was unarmed when he was arrested by the Iranian Intelligence agents on the evening of 17 July 2021 after he left home. He was later transferred to one of the Iranian detention centres in Urmia.
Yasser, son of Mustafa and the father of two children, was denied access to a lawyer and any contact with or visit by his family during the two-month detention.
Hengaw had further confirmed in March this year that “at least 22 Kurdish citizens were arrested by the Iranian security services on charges of political, civil activities and participation in Newroz celebrations.”
A recent report by Amnesty International also indicates that 72 men and women have died in custody since January 2010 in Iran, and the deaths have occurred in 42 prisons and detention centres in 16 provinces across the country.
The Director General of Iranian Prisons, Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi, had officially apologised in August after leaked surveillance footage of physical violence against prisoners went viral in social media.
According to Hengaw’s statistics, at least 23 Kurdish prisoners have been tortured to death in Iranian prisons and security detention centres, 15 of whom were political prisoners, since 2017.
In February this year, 36 civil society and human rights organisations – including the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), Amnesty International, Article 19, the Balochistan Human Rights Group, the Baluch Activists Campaign Organisation, Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Kurdistan Human Rights in Geneva, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network and Minority Rights Group International – had called “for the urgent attention of the international community to an ongoing wave of arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detention, and enforced disappearances by the Iranian authorities, targeting scores of people from Iran’s disadvantaged Kurdish minority.
“According to information gathered from informed sources, since 6 January 2021 [until 3 February – i.e., in less than a month’s duration],” the organisations had noted that “at least 96 individuals from Iran’s Kurdish minority, including civil society activists, labour rights activists, environmentalists, writers, university students and formerly imprisoned political activists as well as individuals with no known history of activism, have been arrested by the intelligence unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or ministry of intelligence agents, at times in a violent manner.”
The statement by the 36 civil society and human rights organisations had continued: “The arrests have taken place in at least 19 cities. According to informed sources, most of the arrests have been carried out without the authorities presenting an arrest warrant to those detained. According to information obtained from informed sources, of the 89 individuals who remain detained, at least 40 have been and are being subjected to enforced disappearance, and the authorities are refusing to reveal any information about their fate and whereabouts to their families.”