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Payvand Iran News ...
05/07/11 Bookmark and Share
Widow Shocked By Iranian Journalist's Suicide
Source: RFE/RL

Siamak Pourzand
Siamak Pourzand was sentenced in 2002 to 11 years in jail.

The widow of a veteran Iranian journalist who jumped to his death last week has expressed shock at his suicide, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Siamak Pourzand, a prominent cultural figure who was jailed in his 70s on charges including adultery and spying, died on Friday (April 29) after throwing himself from the balcony of his Tehran apartment.

His daughter said Pourzand took his own life because of the severe depression he was suffering from. Pourzand had been under house arrest for the last five years and was barred from leaving the country and joining his family abroad.

His widow, Mehrangiz Kar, told RFE/RL that her husband's suicide came out of the blue.


Mehrangiz Kar
Award-winning Iranian women's rights advocate Mehrangiz Kar

"He was so hopeful to be able to see his children after 10 years, that I never expected this. But they took him to a point where he was not allowed to leave the country even under supervision to meet his children for one last time," she said.

"He was so hopeful to be able to see his children after 10 years, that I never expected this. But they took him to a point where he was not allowed to leave the country even under supervision to meet his children for one last time," she said.

She added, "We are going to pursue his last hope to establish a commission, similar to the one established in South Africa; a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, regardless of the regime in Iran."

Kar said Pourzand "hoped to live to see the day that such a commission would be established, where he could demand the rights and reveal his true story, speak of the actions taken against him, and at the end, forgive."

Official Harassment

Pourzand began his long career in 1952 as a journalist working for several independent newspapers, something he did before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

He later took over the management of Tehran's artistic and cultural center and was a cultural commentator for several reformist newspapers after 1997.

Pourzand was abducted by security agents in November 2001 and was held in solitary confinement for several months and tortured in an attempt to extract a televised confession from him.

He was sentenced in 2002 to 11 years in jail on charges of "spying and undermining state security" and "links with monarchists and counterrevolutionaries."

He later on also faced a charge of adultery.

Pourzand's health deteriorated in prison after which he was released on a medical parole, spending his last few years under house arrest and constant harassment from Intelligence Ministry interrogators.

Related Articles:

Death in the Streets of Utrecht
A letter to my beloved father, Siamak Pourzand, whose precious heart stopped beating in Tehran tonight in a torturous solitude imposed on him by the current rulers of Iran. -Azadeh Pourzand

Iranian authorities responsible for Siamak Pourzand's death
Reporters Without Borders is profoundly saddened by the death of journalist Siamak Pourzand, 80, a major cultural figure in Iran. Detained and under house arrest for ten years, banned from leaving the country and separated from his family, Pourzand committed suicide on 29 April in Tehran.


Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

... Payvand News - 05/07/11 ... --


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