The father of a young man killed during Iran’s November 2019 protests has been transferred to a prison in Qazvin after a week held incommunicado.
Manouchehr Bakhtiari, whose 27-year-old son Pouya was shot and killed by security forces on November 16 of that year, was violently arrested last April and later sentenced to three and a half years in prison for “acting against national security” by continuing to call for justice for his son.
The elderly political prisoner went on hunger strike in Karaj Central Prison in early July. He was forced to break it early due to severe gastrointestinal bleeding and then spent nine days in solitary confinement.
Lawyer Ali Sharifzadeh wrote on Twitter on Thursday that his client had now been moved to Qazvin Prison. The Iranian judiciary regularly punishes detainees for hunger strikes or activism behind bars by transferring them to further-off locations, making it harder for their relatives to visit them.
Manouchehr’s wife also wrote on Instagram that she had not heard from her husband or received an update on his condition since July 14, despite knowing that he was “seriously ill”.
The family have faced unending threats and intimidation from Iran’s security and intelligence agencies since Pouya’s death. A number of other November 2019 victims’ families, and notably members of the “Mothers for Justice” campaign, have faced the same treatment for speaking out.
Nahid Shirpisheh, Pouya’s mother and Manouchehr’s ex-wife, was arrested in a series of raids on the bereaved and mostly elderly Mothers for Justice members’ homes on July 11 and 12. She is understood to have now been sentenced to one month in prison and 100 lashes.
On the anniversary of the November 2019 protests, the authorities also arrested Pouya’s uncle Mehrdad Bakhtiari. In a video message obtained by IranWire in February, he said he had been issued with a fresh court summons.
"I do not know what will happen after this video is released,” he said on the tape. “But I urge the government, the people of the US, the people of the world – be our voice if anything happens to us.”