The murder of human rights activist Haleh Sahabi (pictured) at the funeral of her dissident father on June 1 – and the regime’s coverup of the crime – has promoted the United States and British governments to demand answers from the Islamic Republic.
“Both Haleh and her father suffered in life for their political activism including imprisonment,” deputy US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in comments quoted by CNN. “We call on the Iranian government to investigate the circumstances of her death. If reports are accurate that government security forces contributed to her death, this would demonstrate a deplorable disregard for human dignity and respect on the part of the Iranian authorities.”
The State Department spokesman wondered aloud about why the regime would post security forces at the funeral, and said that reports of her death relating to a “scuffle” needed to be explained.
“Why Iranian security forces would have been at this event is question number one, and question number two is whether there was some kind of physical altercation that caused her to suffer,” said Toner.
UPDATE: In London, the British Foreign Office issued a similar statement after Iranian authorities forcibly had Haleh’s body buried at night and otherwise treated in violation of Islamic custom:
“We call for an immediate and transparent investigation into her death and call on the Iranian authorities to allow her family and friends to mourn her father and her deaths without interference.”
“We are particularly disturbed by reports that her death followed heavy-handed action by the Iranian security forces at the funeral and by reports that the Iranian authorities rushed her burial that night with a limited traditional funeral.”