This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
‘I won’t be silenced anymore’
Gohar Eshghi, mother of an Iranian blogger tortured to death while in detention, has vowed to take her own life if authorities fail to bring to justice those responsible for her son’s suspicious death.
“I announce that should they not address our demands, I will take my own life in front of the court,” she told opposition site Sahamnews.
Eshghi’s 35-year-old son, Sattar Beheshti, was arrested on 30 October 2012 by Iran’s cyber police. He is believed to have died as a result of physical and psychological torture just four days after his arrest.
Since her Sattar Beheshti’s tragic death, Gohar Eshghi has repeatedly called for her son’s killers to face justice.
Following the international outcry over Beheshti’s death, the Iranian parliament (Majlis) announced that it would launch a probe into the case. In addition, less than a month after the death, Iran’s police chief, Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam, announced that Tehran’s cyber police chief, Colonel Saeed Shokrian, had been dismissed for negligence in events leading to his death in custody.
Nevertheless, there’s little evidence to suggest that these were anything more than tokenistic gestures.
In her most recent interview, Beheshti’s ailing mother called on the United Nations and all relevant human rights groups to pressure the authorities to pursue her son’s case and to prevent a repeat of similar abuse in Iran’s prisons.
“Unfortunately, there’s no news about Sattar’s case being probed. They [authorities] were supposed to review the case after the fortieth day of mourning, but now they’re saying it will take up to six months,” she told Saham news.
“I was in awe that despite having chosen a lawyer we trust, a [judiciary official] came to meet with me personally instead of meeting with the lawyer,” she continued. “I don’t know why they would wish to complicate and delay the matter. I am concerned and distraught about these actions. I thought that after they [the authorities] conceded that my son had been killed under torture, they would at least investigate his case.”
Eshghi says she is continually harassed and threatened by the security apparatus for her interviews with foreign-based media.
“They keep telling us not to give interviews because ‘those who are abroad won’t do anything for you. They want your interviews for their own interests.’ I was silent for a brief period, but I won’t do so any longer. I won’t be silenced anymore.”
Sattar Beheshti’s family, including his mother and sister, were attacked and beaten on the fortieth day of mourning normally held for the deceased.
“They tell me ‘you’ve become political,’ when I actually haven’t. You’ve threatened to kill us. You beat us on my son’s fortieth day of mourning. When I was walking up the stairs of the court, my head slammed into the tiles after you pushed me.”
Eshghi denied claims that her family had received any form of financial assistance from the government. “We haven’t received a single Rial. My son’s blood is not for sale.”
The grief-stricken mother, who has reportedly been allowed to meet with her son’s killer, reiterated her previous calls for retribution.
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