The Iranian regime is refusing to hand over the bodies of two political activists it executed barbarically on Monday to their families. Fearing an angry backlash from the Iranian people for the brutal hangings, the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has secretly buried the bodies of Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aqaei, according to reports, without the prior knowledge of their families. The two men have been buried near their cities of birth.
The MOIS phoned the Kazemi family after burying Mr. Jafar Kazemi’s body in Gilanvand Damavand informing them of the inhumane move after the fact.
The body of Mr. Haj Aqaei was buried by the regime’s agents in the vicinity of Esfahan. The family was made aware of the attempt as the ambulance carrying the body was heading towards Esfahan for burial.
Jaafar Kazemi, 47, had spent 11 years in prison as a political activist in the 1980s prior to his latest arrest in August 2009. Amnesty International has cited reports that he had been tortured while in detention.
Mohammad Ali Haj-Aqai, 52, had spent 7 years in prison as a political activist in the 1980s. He was last arrested in December 2009, during anti-regime protests. He was sentenced to death as ‘mohareb’ (“enemy of God”) for visiting Ashraf and participating in demonstrations.
Both dissidents were witnesses to the massacre of Iranian political prisoners in the summer of 1988.
The two political prisoners were executed on Monday for visiting loved ones in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reside. They were also charged with participating in the peaceful rallies of 2009 against the regime.
Earlier reports indicated that despite the families’ repeated referrals, the Iranian regime’s agents refused to transfer the bodies fearing widespread protests at their memorial ceremonies.
On Wednesday, two brothers of Mr. Jafar Kazemi referred to the prosecutor’s office at the notorious Evin prison in Tehran to obtain his body. The regime’s agents at the prison reportedly told them in no uncertain terms that they cannot do so due to the possibility of “unrest” in the course of an independent burial ceremony.
Another report indicates that the clerical regime has threatened the families to refrain from hanging posters of the two slain PMOI supporters on their walls or entrances to their houses.
MOIS agents and the regime’s officials at the Judiciary have also sent summons to the families threatening that they must avoid holding any ceremonies in their honor with the exception of a very small gathering with only the closest relatives in attendance.
MOIS agents have been patrolling the surroundings of the two houses frequently to keep watch. Despite the suppressive measures, however, a large number of people have so far visited the families to express their condolences and to honor the memories of the two former political prisoners.
While in prison, both activists suffered physical ailments due to tortures endured during their detention at the notorious Evin Prison, but the regime denied them access to medical care.
Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action Appeal on their behalf on January 5, 2011. It said five other political prisoners are under threat of execution on charges of having contacts with the PMOI.