Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 2, 2011


We condemn the killing of Iranian activist Haleh Sahabi in the strongest possible terms. Eyewitness and reliable accounts of Haleh Sahabi's death yesterday at her father's funeral in Iran are making it clear that Ms. Sahabi died as a result of reprehensible actions taken by Iranian security forces. Iranian government explanations have so far been unsatisfactory, and it shut down a commemoration of her death today, with additional reports that Iranian security forces beat members of Women for Peace and the Mourning Mothers to prevent participation in her memorial.

It is unfathomable that a government would be so terrified of its citizens that it would order the use of force against a daughter mourning at her father’s funeral. Indeed, this is a government that regularly brutalizes its citizens, imprisoning them under questionable charges, torturing them, cutting them off from the rest of the world, and denying their fundamental human rights. It is for this reason that the international community voted overwhelmingly to establish a Special Rapporteur for Iran at the Human Rights Council. We will recommend that the Rapporteur fully investigate this incident at the earliest possible opportunity.

We again express our condolences to the Sahabi family, friends, and supporters all over the world.



PRN: 2011/892