Iranian-Canadian professor lifeless in Iran: son

Kavous Seyed Emami is seen in this undated handout

"The news of my father's passing is impossible to fathom", he wrote.

Authorities on Friday called Seyed-Emami's wife to say her husband had committed suicide in Tehran's Evin prison, his son tweeted.

The singer said that his father was arrested on January 24 and his mother Maryam was informed of the death on Friday. "I still can't believe this", Ramin, a well-known singer, said.

Iranian authorities must also immediately stop harassing Seyed-Emami's family and cease pressuring them into conducting a burial before the completion of an independent autopsy and medical investigation of the cause of death.

Until then, Sadri said he will continue to mourn Seyed-Emami's death and remember his passion and love for the outdoors and hiking.

Seyed Emami was a professor of sociology at Imam Sadeq university in Tehran and earned his doctorate at the University of Oregon.

The prosecutor said Seyed-Emami, also an environmentalist, was accused of espionage and committed suicide after confessing his crimes while in prison.

The Tehran Prosecutor General, Abba Jafari Dolotabadi, has said members of the group were arrested for gathering classified intelligence in strategic areas under the guise of scientific and environmental work.

Seyed-Emami was detained along with seven colleagues from the wildlife NGO on January 24.

Seyed-Emami, a USA -trained scholar, had been managing director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which seeks to protect Iran's rare animals. A spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, which manages Canadian foreign and trade relations, said on Saturday the government was aware of reports of the death of a Canadian citizen in Iran.

"Since their arrest, there has been no phone contact and they have not had access to a lawyer".

Seyed-Ebrahimi is the second Iranian-Canadian who has died in custody in Iran.

A leading opposition politician in Iran, Mostafa Tajzadeh, referred to other recent deaths in prisons which he wants investigated and said that President Hassan Rouhani "must do the same until the real reasons of the death of Dr. Sayed Emami is clear to public". Iran says that Levinson is not in the country and that it has no further information about him, though his family holds Tehran responsible for his disappearance.

However, local activists and family members told CHRI that one of Heydari's relatives saw evidence of a severe blow to Heydari's skull before his body was buried.

Others with ties to the West detained in Iran include Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly "infiltrating" the country while doing doctoral research on Iran's Qajar dynasty. Photo of Kavous Seyed-Emami courtesy of CHRI.

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