The United States on Friday denounced Iranian leaders for allegedly preventing the burial of a journalist’s corpse in a clerical state, saying that they expressed a fear for journalists, even after the death of.
Reza Haghighatnejad, who was working in exile at Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe’s Radio Farda, a U.S. funded Persian language radio station, passed away on the 17th of October in the Berlin hospital due to cancer, according to the outlet. (Radio Freedom Europe/Radio Liberty is part of the U.S. Agency for Global Media which is the federal agency which manages Voice of America.)
In a statement from the family of the deceased, Radio Farda said that agents from the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp seized the body of the 45-year old on its return to Iran to stop a burial in his hometown town of Shiraz.
“We are shocked to discover that the IRGC have taken Reza’s remains from the airport and have been urging the family to accept for his burial in a different location,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
He urged Iranian officials to hand over the corpse “immediately” for his relatives members and said that this incident demonstrated the level of press intimidation.
“The attitude of Reza Haghighatnejad demonstrates just the extent to which Iran’s leadership is scared of journalists even after they die,” he said.
The incident is happening at the same time that Iran clamps down on the nationwide protests that broke out following the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was held by the religious State’s notorious Morality Police.