Sirous Shokri Elyasi, a Kurdish civilian on military service, was shot dead on 24 July at the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) base in the village of Delazi in Salmas, West Azerbaijan province, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned.

While IRGC officials claimed that Shokri had committed suicide, the Department of Forensic Medicine confirmed that he was shot from a distance.

Shokri’s family was initially told by IRGC officials that he had committed suicide, but an autopsy carried out by the Department of Forensic Medicine revealed that he had been “killed with a bullet from a distance and the suicide hypothesis was rejected”, sources close to the civilian told KHRN.

The sources added that Shokri had been threatened several times by one of the commanders of the IRGC base due to the fact that one of his cousins, Musa Kobani, was one of the known martyrs of the war against the Islamic State (IS) in Kobani, and that he had political arguments with the IRGC forces at the base.

Shokri had also been sentenced to an additional three months of mandatory military service in recent months as a result of this pressure.

IRGC officials initially spread a rumour that Shokri had been killed in a clash after a Kurdish opposition party allegedly attacked the base. A few hours later, however, they claimed that he had committed suicide inside the base.