A prisoner named Khosrow Jamalifar has died in Sanandaj Central Prison in Kurdistan province.

Although prison officials claimed the cause of his death to be suicide by taking pills, the prisoner’s family said he died due to the “torture” of prison officials.

Khosrow Jamalifar, 26, was in Sanandaj Central Prison for about two years on “murder” charges.

On 2 November, prison officers severely beat him and took him to solitary confinement after he was involved in a fight with several other prisoners.

On 3 November, the prisoner’s body was buried in Sanandaj under strict security measures and with the presence of special forces.

Speaking to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), a member of Jamalifar’s family said: “At midnight on Tuesday [2 November], one of Khosrow’s cellmates informed us about his transfer to Tohid Hospital in Sanandaj. After going to the hospital, we were not allowed to visit him and were told that Khosrow had died. They said we could return to the morgue the following morning to receive his body.”

The family member continued, “According to one of the employees of the hospital, Khosrow had died before being transferred to the hospital, but prison officials pressured the doctors to carry out gastric irrigation.”

According to this family member, on the morning of 3 November, while waiting in front of the hospital morgue, they were contacted by Behesht Mohammadi Cemetry in Sanandaj and asked to go there to receive the body.

“When we arrived at Behesht Mohammadi [Cemetry] at 0500 [local time] in the morning, we faced a large presence of dozens of special forces. Khosrow’s body was washed without the presence of his family members, and only after long arguments, one of Khosrow’s brothers managed to remove the shroud. He saw Khosrow’s head and that his nose was still bloody. Finally, with the presence of these forces, we buried the body”, said the family member.

This family member emphasizes that although the prison authorities are trying to pretend that the cause of death was suicide by taking pills, the family would not accept such a claim and is waiting for the final say by the department of forensic medicine.

According to statistics compiled by the KHRN, at least five prisoners have died from torture by officers in detention centres or prisons since March 2020.

The names of these five prisoners and the locations of their deaths are as follows: Danyal Zeinal-Abedini in Mahabad Prison, Nasser Karimi in Bukan Prison, Amir Rezaei in Orumiyeh Central Prison, Mehrdad Taleshi in the Criminal Investigation Department in Tehran, and Amir Hossein Hatami in Fashafouyeh Prison in Tehran.

Fatemeh Karimi, the director of the KHRN, stated in this regard: “Although in such cases prison officials deny death as a result of torture and the attempts for having judicial prosecution of these cases by family and lawyers is generally ineffective, under current laws, the responsibility for the life of each prisoner at the time of detention or imprisonment is with the Organisation of Prisons. We hold judicial authorities responsible in following up on the cause of death of Khosrow Jamalifar and other similar cases and how they died.”