Iranian Activist Gets Back Passport, Phone After Confiscated Upon Arrival From Germany

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Parastoo Forouhar

Iranian activist Parastoo Forouhar has confirmed to RFE/RL the return of her passport and electronic devices, which were confiscated when she arrived at Tehran airport from Germany last week for a trip to commemorate the anniversary of the death of her parents, who were both vocal critics of Iran’s religious leadership.

Forouhar arrived in Tehran on November 15 for the 25th anniversary of the deaths of her parents, Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, two political activists who were stabbed to death in their Tehran home on November 21, 1998.

The death of Forouhar’s parents was part of a series of extrajudicial killings of dissidents and intellectuals that later came to be known as the “Chain Murders of Iran.”

The individuals who confessed to the murders were affiliated with the Intelligence Ministry and admitted that the murders were termed a “physical elimination” of the dissidents as directed by the ministry.

The authorities said the agents responsible for the killings had acted “arbitrarily” but an investigative journalist and activists have suggested that senior officials authorized the killings.

In an interview with Radio Farda, Forouhar said she had never received any official instruction prohibiting her from holding an annual memorial for her parents. No reason was given for the seizure of her passport and phone.

However, she noted that there have been insinuations of “misuse” concerning the memorial ceremonies, rhetoric she said she had faced for the past 25 years. In recent years, she added, the authorities had hindered commemorations by blocking streets leading to their home and trying to intimidate those participating in the ceremony.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda

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