Iran MPs confirm suicide of held Iranian-Canadian professor

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian lawmakers confirmed that an Iranian-Canadian university professor killed himself while he was in custody, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported Monday.

The report quoted the head of parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, as saying some members of parliament, including moderate deputy parliament speaker Ali Motahari, said after watching CCTV footage from his time in custody in Tehran that Kavous Seyed-Emami took his life.

Boroujerdi said Seyed-Emami's "family also accepted this, so they did not ask for an autopsy."

"The video showed that Seyed-Emami takes his shirt off and prepares for suicide," Boroujerdi said.

Boroujerdi added that considering that he was a university professor, he was kept in a proper cell. "Unfortunately, Kavos Seyed-Emami, for whatever reason, could not bear the prison conditions," he said.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted spokesman of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, as saying, "The issue is quite clear because prepares his shirt as a rope to commit suicide."

Hosseini added that Seyed-Emami tried to make it appear to guards that he was asleep.

On Saturday, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said authorities had arrested several unidentified people on suspicion of spying under the cover of implementation of scientific and environmental projects.

The chief justice of Tehran province, Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, described the case as being in its early stages in a Sunday report by ILNA.

"Some people who collected and transferred information to strangers were identified and some were arrested, and some might be arrested in the future," he said.

Omar Alghabra, Canada's parliamentary secretary for consular affairs, tweeted that the Canadian government was concerned about the circumstances of the death.

"Our thoughts are with his family. Canada has asked Iranian authorities for answers," Alghabra tweeted.

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