Gohar Eshghi and Sahar Beheshti, the mother and sister of murdered blogger Sattar Beheshti, have been arrested by security forces on the anniversary of his death, and days after Eshghi published a video critical of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Seven Iranian activists were also detained after visiting his grave.
According to the Sattar Beheshti Foundation, security forces descended on the family home southwest of Tehran at 10:20pm on Wednesday, November 3. All of the occupants were arrested and their devices confiscated.
The Foundation said Gohar Eshghi, 75, suffered a heart attack brought on by stress during the raid and was temporarily unable to breathe. Officers prevented Sahar Beheshti from bringing her her medication, and when Mostafa Eslami, her son-in-law, tried to intervene he was also severely beaten.
The report added that throughout the raid, Sahar Beheshti’s two ten-year-old children were crying out of fear. The agents beat their mother in front of them and demanded they be silent.
The incident came not a week after Gohar Eshghi had released a video message to mark nine years since her son, who had run a small, critical blog about life under the Islamic Republic, was arrested and died under torture in custody. In the clip Eshghi had accused Khamenei of “destroying” the country, telling him: "My liver is burning; may God burn your liver."
The arrests also took place a day before the Sattar Beheshti Foundation was planning to hold a memorial event for Iranians killed in the November 2019 protests. Eshghi was scheduled to attend, as were other family members of citizens who lost their lives at the hands of the regime in the past 40 years.
Currently, according to the Sattar Beheshti Foundation, all lines of communication with the family have been cut off. There is no information available about where they were taken
The Sattar Beheshti Foundation has announced that all communication channels with the family have been cut off. Their location is currently unknown.
Earlier on the same day, a group of activists from the Democratic Front of Iran were violently arrested by plainclothes after attending Sattar Beheshti’s grave to pay their respects. They include secretary-general Heshmatollah Tabarzadi and six members of the central council, Yasmin Hanifeh, Esmail Moftizadeh, Mohammad Reza Khosravi, Parviz Safari, Arash Soleimani and Ali Rostami.