A historian and documentary filmmaker has been sentenced to six months in prison for reviving rumors tha the younger son of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died due to excessive drug use.
Hossein Dehbashi had made the claim in a tweet in February this year, while listing people close to Khomeini in 1979 who had later died in unclear or suspicious circumstances. The actual words he used to describe the cause of Ahmad Khomeini’s death in 1995 were “indiscriminate consumption”.
The post drew the ire of many within the Islamic Republic, including an ex-IRGC commander, who called the description "cowardly", and the Office for the Publication of Knowledge for the Revolution.
Announcing the sentence on Twitter on Friday, Dehbashi wrote that originally he had been issued with a cease-and-desist order by the Culture, Media and Computer Crimes court, but then another had decided to jail him.
He went on: “This author has already written, and now repeats again, that he is prepared to apologize and withdraw his statement about the cause of death of the late Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini. Suffice to say, if the said cause [of Khomeini’s death] was wrong, what was the reality?”
Ahmad Khomeini died suddenly at the age of 49. Official reports stated his cause of his death was a sudden cardiac arrest while sleeping, followed by a stroke. He was the closest person to his father in the Islamic Republic and was accused of having a hand in the country’s 1988 prison massacre.