NOTE TO READERS: Kayhan London was the first media organization to report the arrest in Iran of the seven conservationists.
Kavus Seyyed Emami, one of seven members of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) arrested on charges of espionage, has reportedly killed himself in jail. Authorities at Tehran Evin prison have asked his family to claim his body.
Mr. Emami was a conservationist, a sociologist and a faculty member at Imam Sadeq University. Security agents arrested Emami on 24 January at his house. His family had not been able to contact him since his arrest.
“I can’t believe my father is gone. He was arrested on January 21. My mother was summoned to court on February 10 and was told that her husband had committed suicide. I just can’t believe it,” one of Emami’s children wrote in an Instagram.
Meanwhile, Abbas Jaffari Dowlatabadi, the Tehran Prosecutor, confirmed on February 10 that seven conservationists had been arrested on charges of espionage. “These individuals’ true mission was to collect sensitive strategic information about the country while working ostensibly as wildlife conservationists and environmentalists. They have all been arrested following a successful intelligence operation.”