Recently released political prisoner Behnam Ganji Khabiri a 22 year old student at Tehran University of Applied Sciences committed suicide on September 1, 2011.
Behnam Ganji, a friends of incarcerated human rights activist Koohyar Goudarzi, was arrested along with Koohyar and another friend at his home on July 31, 2011. While Koohyar is still being detained, Behnam and his other friend were released on August 8.
Koohyar’s mother, Parvin Mokhtari was also arrested in raid of her home in Kerman on August 1, 2011.
Behnam Ganji with no history of prior political activity was taken to ward 240 in Evin prison and was put under very harsh interrogations for the purpose of obtaining a false confession.
Such harsh measures were used in Behnam’s interrogations that resulted in him going into deep depression after release from prison. He ended his life on September 1 by taking large number of prescription pills.
During his detention at wards 240 and 209 (high security Intelligence Ministry and IRGC), Behnam Ganji was put through very harsh interrogations to give false confession against his friend Koohyar Goudarzi which he refused.
The interrogators pressured Behnam to file a complaint against Koohyar, he refused. The Magistrate at the Court in Evin had also threatened Behnam and his family that they must sever all ties with Khooyar.
After one week in solitary confinement in ward 240 and number of days in a shared cell in ward 209, and more than 10 interrogation sessions while blindfolded, Behnam was released on bail.
According to law, solitary confinement and interrogations while blindfolded are considered torture. It is not known what other techniques were used during Behnam’s interrogations.
According to Behnam’s family, since his release, he suffered from deep depression and was constantly fearful of being rearrested.
Behnam did not suffer from depression before being arrested, however, he went into such deep depression after he was released that led to his suicide.
After Behnam’s suicide at midnight on Thursday September 1, security agents and police present at the home were his body was treated the family very harsh.
According to reports, Behnam’s body has been moved to his place of birth Mashhad for funeral and burial on to be held on Sunday September 4, 2011.
Concerns have increased about the fate of Koohyar Goudarzi, considering the fact that the Judiciary has yet to admit his arrest, the illegal arrest and detention of Koohyar’s mother in Kerman and now the suicide of his friend.