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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Family of Executed British-Iranian National ‘Prevented from Seeing Body’

Akbari’s family went to cemetery to collect his remains but were told he had already been buried

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IRAN: Family members of the murdered British-Iranian dual national Alireza Akbari said that they were prohibited from visiting their loved one’s body or burying him in the tomb he requested in Shiraz, where he was born.

Akbari was put to death for espionage for M16, an allegation he adamantly contested and for which there is little solid proof other than a confession obtained under torture.

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Akbari’s sister and daughter went to the Tehran cemetery, where officials had said he must be buried, to collect the body and bury him in the designated grave site.

However, the officials informed me that a man with the same name and similar details had been buried there on Thursday and that there was nobody to collect. This was the family’s final humiliation.

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On Thursday, there were brief reports that Akbari had been put to death, but the reports were quickly refuted. The family claims that the intelligence ministry gave them false hope on Friday evening that there would be a chance of reprieve. 

However, they were disappointed to learn on Saturday morning that he had been executed after being informed he wouldn’t be put to death on Friday, a holiday in Iran.

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The family was asked to sign a statement stating that he would only be peacefully interred in a clearly marked grave in the Tehran cemetery before negotiations regarding the collection of the body could begin. Any attempt to transport the body to Shiraz would result in its confiscation and destruction.

Andy Slaughter, the MP for Hammersmith, verified the news of Akbari’s treatment.

Slaughter demanded that Akbari be treated with respect and dignity, at least in death. In a statement, James Cleverley, the foreign secretary, said he was repulsed by the news and that it was “deeply distressing.”

He said that the Akbari family had been in touch with the Foreign Office for the first time in February of last year and had since received assistance. 

He claimed that 40 sanctions had been placed on the regime since October, including those on six people connected to the revolutionary courts, in addition to the penalties placed on the Iranian prosecutor general over the weekend.

He claimed to have previously spoken with Simon Shercliff, the UK ambassador in Tehran and committed that the steps already taken would not be the end of the UK’s response.

Also Read: Iran Executes British-Iranian Dual National Alireza Akbari, Says State Media

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