Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
GECHR Calls for Investigation into the Death of Ahwazi Poet
11th November 2019
Ahwazi poet Hassan Al-Haidari, 29 years of age, died less than 24 hours in the hospital in Ahwaz capital city, after an unexpected heart attack on Sunday, November 10, 2019. It is worth mentioning that the Ahwazi poet has recently been released from the detention by Iranian intelligence services because of his cultural activity.
Ahwazi sources confirmed that protests broke out throughout Ahwaz in southwestern Iran on Sunday following the sudden and suspicious death of Hassan al- Haidari. The sources informed the GECHR that protesters accused Iranian authorities of the assassination of poet Hassan al-Haidari.
The poet and cultural activist Hassan al-Haidari had recently been released after months of imprisonment in the detention centres of the Iranian intelligence services in the city of Ahwaz, where he was imprisoned for his writings and poetry against the authority’s policy of marginalising the Ahwazi people. Ahwazi sources stated that he was released by bail after the al-Haidari family reportedly paid a massive amount to secure his release. However, he felt ill late on Saturday night at his family's home in the capital, Ahwaz, and close sources said that the poet had been suffering from the disease since his release. According to sources close to Hassan al-Haidari, he may have been subjected to food poisoning in the detention centres and had complained of painful pain even though he was healthy before the arrest.
Although his family rushed to a local hospital where medical staff attempted to treat him, he suffered a massive seizure soon after his arrival and fell into a coma from which he never awoke, dying a few hours later. Following his death, doctors told his shocked family that he had suffered a stroke and heavy cranial bleeding, as well as revealing that blood tests showed traces of highly toxic substances in his bloodstream that are believed to have induced the stroke (Dur Untash- 11 November 2019).
According to Dur Untash centre, Hassan Al-Haidari’s family said that in addition to the highly suspicious traces of poison in his system whose source is unknown, there were no reasons for him to have fallen ill, explaining that Hassan, who had recently got married, was a healthy energetic non-smoker in the prime of his life and in excellent health, who did not suffer from any illness or health condition that could explain his shockingly sudden death.
Al-Haidari's tragic death is the latest in a number of similar cases in recent years in Ahwaz, where many poets, writers, musicians, prominent civil and cultural activists have died under suspicious circumstances. Another activist, Satar Sayahi, mysteriously died in October 2012 of a stroke shortly after being released from prison on bail.
The European-Gulf Centre for Human Rights calls for international investigations into the death of Ahwazi poet Hassan al-Haidari. The centre rejects any negligence by international organisations on this issue because the Ahwazi people and activists suffer from marginalisation, programmed killing and arbitrary arrests by Iranian authorities which is a violation of international human rights law. The GECHR also believes that the safety of citizens lies with the government and the international community, so international organisations should follow up on the al-Haidari case and provide full details of the causes of death. Thus, neglecting the case will repeat the same scenario against other activists in Ahwaz and elsewhere in Iran.