Iranian protester Nader Mokhtari dies after months in coma: Opposition website

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An Iranian protester who was allegedly beaten into a coma by security forces during anti-government unrest last November, has died in custody, an opposition website reported on Monday.

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Nader Mokhtari, 35, died on Saturday in Tehran’s Kahrizak prison, according to Kaleme.

Security forces reportedly beat Mokhtari with batons during anti-government protests in the city of Karaj – west of the capital Tehran – in November 2019, Kaleme said.

He then went missing for a month until his family found him at a hospital in Tehran’s Shahr-e Rey district, the report added.

Mokhtari regained consciousness just before the Persian new year in March, and then was transferred by security forces to Kahrizak prison where he was hospitalised in the prison’s health center despite opposition from his family and doctors, the report said.

Mokhtari was kept in prison and denied any outside treatment until his death on Saturday, Kaleme said.

“Despite [Mokhtari’s] deteriorating health, authorities insisted on keeping him in Kahrizak prison, which worsened his condition,” the report said, citing an informed source.

Mokhtari’s family, who has not yet received his body, has been “severely pressured and threatened” to remain silent, the report added.

Iranians across the country took to the streets in November to protest against a substantial overnight increase in gasoline prices. The protests quickly turned political, with demonstrators demanding regime change.

Tehran has not yet officially announced the exact number of people killed in the protests, but right groups have put the death toll at more than 300, while Reuters reported that security forces killed about 1,500 people in less than two weeks after the protests erupted on November 15.

Thousands were also reportedly arrested.

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