Iranian-Canadian professor lifeless in Iran: son

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An Iranian environmentalist has died in prison, his son said on Twitter, less than month since he was arrested.

The death of Seyed-Emami, a 63-year-old university professor and managing director of the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation, comes after reports of at least two other suicides by people arrested in a crackdown following week-long protests in late December and early January. Kavous Seyed Emami was arrested on Wednesday 24 January 2018, and the news of his death was released to my mom, Maryam, on Friday the 9th of February.

"The news of my father's passing is impossible to fathom", he wrote. "I still can't believe this", Raam Seyed-Emami said.

On Instagram, he added that authorities say his father committed suicide. He did not respond to requests for further comment.

Seyed Emami was a professor of sociology at Imam Sadeq university in Tehran and earned his doctorate at the University of Oregon.

On Saturday, Jafari-Dolatabadi said Iran's security forces had arrested several people who had been "gathering classified information in strategic areas. under the coverage of scientific and environmental projects".

Seyed-Emami's death was not immediately reported in Iranian media amid nationwide rallies marking the 39th anniversary of the country's Islamic Revolution.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights issued a statement on February 11 confirming Seyed-Emami's identity.


Mr Seyed-Emami is the second Iranian-Canadian dual national to die in prison in Iran.

Former federal cabinet minister and Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney shared a link to a newspaper report about Emami's death.

Dozens of dual nationals are in jail in Iran, mostly on spying charges. He sponsored Seyed-Emami when he came to the southern Alberta post-secondary institution on sabbatical from about August to mid-December of previous year.

Mr Seyed-Emami ran the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation and was a sociology professor.

In 2003, an Iranian-Canadian photographer, Zahra Kazemi, was beaten to death in Evin prison after she was detained while taking pictures. A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs told CBC News in an emailed statement that consular officials "are working to gather additional information and are providing assistance to the family of the Canadian citizen".

There is now no Canadian embassy in Iran, which does not recognize dual nationality. "He loved Iran and the environment".

Human rights groups outside the country have accused Iranian authorities of systematic abuses in prisons.

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