(Ottawa — April 9, 2018) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Iran’s leader protesting the death in prison of an Iranian-Canadian university professor who was accused of spying by Iranian authorities.
Kavous Seyed Emami, a duel-Canadian national, was arrested in January, and died last month in a Tehran prison, ostensibly by his own hand. He taught sociology and was also a prominent environmentalist who ran the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation.
CAUT’s letter, addressed to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also protests the fact that Emani’s wife, Maryam Mombeini, a Canadian citizen, is now barred from leaving Iran to return to her children here.
“I urge you to allow Ms. Mombeini to join her family in this moment of grief. I fail to understand why Ms. Mombeini, a Canadian citizen, was barred from leaving Iran in the first place, and urge you to permit her the freedom to return to Canada,” the letter states.
Emani’s family does not believe he took his own life, and activists point to other suspicious deaths among detainees that have also been called suicides by Iranian authorities.