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Sasan Niknafas – Murder of a Prisoner by the System

After hours of procrastination and no response to Sasan's lawyer and family, the Prisons Organization issued a statement, which was more like a confession than an explanation of how Sasan Niknafas died in prison.

The first reports of the deteriorating condition of political prisoner Sasan Niknafas in Fashafoyeh prison were published on social media yesterday, Sunday, June 6, 2021. It was reported that Sasan’s elderly mother was unaware of his condition. Even Sasan’s attorney, Mr. Ali Sharifzadeh, did not know about his client’s situation until this afternoon, as he told ILNA. And as he said, the supervising prosecutor of Greater Tehran Prison, Mr. Mohammadi, as well as the Branch 1 execution judge, pretended to be unaware of his situation. But before this report, the news of Sasan Niknafas’ death had been published on social media by civil activists.

Sasan Niknafas, political prisoner in Greater Tehran Prison, died of severe bleeding after being transferred to prison’s clinic.

However, even after these reports, prison officials did not react and made his family wait.

Sasan Niknafas’ health condition deteriorated in prison from two days ago. He is taken to the prison medical center. Sasan suffered from several diseases: diabetes, fatty liver, gastritis, high blood pressure and neurological/psychological problems. He has spent the last 11 months in Fashafoyeh with these diseases. His elderly mother had tried to get him a “certificate of intolerance of imprisonment”. The request was rejected. The mother tried to obtain this certificate through the Second Medical Examiner Commission.

According to his lawyer, Sasan Niknafas, the 36-year-old monarchy activist and father of two 8 and 9-year-old girls, was arrested for only a few Instagram posts in support of Prince Reza Pahlavi and was charged in December 2019 by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Salavati. His alleged crimes: conspiracy to gatherings, propaganda against the regime and insulting the “Supreme Leader”. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison, 5 years of which were enforceable under Article 134, and Sasan was serving his sentence, when he was transferred to the prison’s medical center two days ago with nose and mouth bleeding. “The political prisoner lost his life due to lack of proper medical care and delay in being sent to medical centers outside the prison,” HRANA wrote in its latest report on Sasan Niknafas’ death. He was “transferred to the prison medical center on Saturday, June 5, due to his deteriorating condition and severe bleeding from his mouth and nose.” Prison officials “opposed sending him to a hospital outside the prison.”

A source of the news agency reported: “The body of this political prisoner was taken to a hospital outside the prison after his death.”

Based on this information, the reason for the Judiciary and prison authorities’ delay in informing and answering to the lawyer and family of this political prisoner becomes quite clear: the killer was transferring the body of the victim to another location. That is why, in a statement issued by the Prisons Organization after hours of procrastination and lack of response, the location of death of this political prisoner is mentioned as Firoozabadi Hospital. In an unfounded and shameless allegation, the organization also reports the cause of the deterioration and subsequent death of Sasan Niknafas, without any reference to the forensic report, in a distorted and completely fabricated version, that this political prisoner “during a conversation with a doctor, he states that he had taken some pills from one of the prisoners, and after taking them, he became ill, he had another seizure and according to the doctor’s diagnosis, he was immediately transferred to Firoozabadi Hospital at 17:20, and finally this prisoner died in the hospital.”

Sources at HRANA from inside the Greater Tehran Prison have informed the news agency that a number of political prisoners are currently being interrogated at the prison. Interrogators are trying to portray Sasan Niknafas’ “cause of death” as “self-medication” and the arbitrary use of unprescribed drugs.

This method is quite familiar. The murder of Behnam Mahjoubi comes to mind. His murder was transformed into “death through self-medication” in exactly the same manner and for the same reasons. Behnam’s mother, Batoul Hosseini, recently turned to human rights and international organizations for help in finding her son’s killer, saying that more than three months after her son was killed, Judiciary officials refuse to issue the forensic report and dodge her requests; the only document that could prove all their claims!

Translation of this post by Sahar.

Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!