A Kurdish student injured by Iranian security forces during protests in Mahabad has died from critical wounds at Imam Khomeini hospital in the city of Oroumiyeh. Akam Talaj, 19, was shot and injured on May 17 amid widespread protests in the city of Mahabad following the suspicious death of a Kurdish chambermaid at a local hotel.

One of his relatives told Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) on condition of anonymity that Talaj passed away on 29 June. He was initially transferred to a hospital in Mahabad, but due to his critical condition he was later transferred to Imam Khomeini hospital in Oroumiyeh.

Doctors at the hospital found his spinal cord damaged as a result of critical wounds sustained from close-range gunshots fired by the Iranian security forces a the unarmed civilian protesters.

The doctors told his family members that his health had worsened on a daily basis despite the fact the he had undergone several operations.

According to his relative, Iranian intelligence officers did not allow anyone other than his immediate family to visit him and imposed harsh security measures on his family relatives not to make public information about his health conditions.

“On 29 June, as soon as his death was confirmed, intelligence agents showed up at the hospital and threatened the family not to communicate with any media outlets specially those based abroad. They also told them to hold the funeral ceremony as quiet as possible,” his relative said in an interview with KHRN. “Later on, his body was transferred to Mahabad by security forces and buried the same night at Badag Sultan cemetery by his family members and some relatives while security forces were present. The first day of the funeral took place on 30 June in Rashedin Caliphates mosque in Mahabad, where members of the security and intelligence agency were present in casual clothes but they were very obvious for everybody who attended the funeral,” his relative said.

Protests swept across the Kurdish cities and towns in Iran few days after the suspicious death of Kurdish chambermaid Farinaz Khosravani at Tara Hotel in the city of Mahabad. Khosravani plunged from fourth floor of the hotel and locals suspected that she committed suicide to escape rape by an official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

On 7 May, a number of protests turned violent in Mahabad but they kept spreading across almost all of the Kurdish cities and towns in Iran, leading to a state of emergency and more Iranian security forces being deployed in the Kurdish areas.

According to information obtained by KHRN, four out of 68 protesters arrested by the Iranian security forces were transferred to Oroumiyeh prison and they have since remained at the prison, while others have been released on bail, the price of which has ranged from 125,000 to 300,000 US dollars. Additionally, three of the arrested Kurdish protesters jailed in solitary confinement at an intelligence detention facility in Mahabad prison have been going through terrible psychological conditions.

One of them has been identified as Saman Hariri but the other two remain unknown. A source from inside the Mahabad prison said that five detained Kurdish protesters remain jailed inside the prison and identified them as Rahman Khoshkalam, Kambiz Chekani, Karim Abraham, Younes Melak and Anvar Aboubakri.