Baktash Abtin, poet and political prisoner who died of COVID. FILE PHOTO

Baktash Abtin, poet and political prisoner who died of COVID.

Political Prisoners In Iran Blame Authorities For Death Of Jailed Poet

1/10/2022

Several Iranian political prisoners have written an open letter holding the Islamic Republic responsible for the death of poet and filmmaker Baktash Abtin.

Political prisoners in Gohardasht Prison said that Abtin’s death is the continuation of the politically motivated serial assassinations – also known as Chain murders of Iran, a series of 1988–98 murders and disappearances of Iranian dissident intellectuals.

They said the Islamic Republic has found new ways to silence the voices of those who are critical of its system, describing Abtin is an example.

Criticizing “inaction” by international human rights organizations, the detainees stated that facing no consequences for its crimes against humanity has emboldened the repression and killing machine of the Islamic Republic.

Earlier in the day, some scuffles were reported following a ceremony to commemorate Abtin in the women’s ward of the Evin Prison, when officials tried to transfer rights activist and photojournalist Alieh Matlabzadeh to the notorious Qarchak Prison.

Abtin died of Covid-19 complications following days of medically induced coma on Saturday after he was denied timely treatment by officials at Tehran’s Evin Prison.

The Iranian Writers' Association said in a statement that his funeral service was held a day ahead of schedule under a heavy presence by security forces because authorities feared a large crowd and protest during the event.

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