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Iran: A “Missing” Blogger and Two Tragic Suicides

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is calling for an immediate investigation into the recent suicides of two former detainees and associates of Kouhyar Goudarzi, a human rights activist and blogger who has been held incommunicado since his detention by intelligence forces on 31 July 2011 in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Security forces detained Goudarzi, along with several friends, including Behnam Ganji, 22, on 31 July, 2011. Another of Goudarzi's friends, Nahal Sahabi, 37, was subsequently interrogated by authorities. Following their release, Ganji and Sahabi committed suicide on 1 September and 28 September.

Although one should resist romanticizing or seeking causal explanations for suicide, many bloggers believe the traumatic experience in prison pushed Ganji to end his life. The pair was believed to be romantically involved, and their story has captured the popular imagination.

The blogger Jahanzanan, chose [fa] “The death of lovers” as the title for his post about the incident. The blog also re-published an article by Masih Alinjead, a female journalist.

Today is Thursday. A girl named Nahal loves a boy, Behnam Ganji. Behnam was a friend of Kouhyar, a human rights activist and protester, who was arrested with him and later released. When Behnam was arrested, the media did not cover his story. He committed suicide after his release… and now Nahal, ended her life…. there are many who are disgusted by the word “girlfriend”… but I saw in the morning some media reported that “Behnam's girlfriend killed herself after him”… Sleep beautiful girl…

Following Ganji's death, Nahal wrote a poem on her blog [fa] and also shared a link to a YouTube video: Eleni Karaindrou's Wedding Waltz.

Ensiloos says:

Behnam was under the worst pressure to confess against his friend Kouhyar. Kouhyar is still in the regime's jail. I hold the Islamic Republic responsible for the death of Behnam and Nehal.

Crazy Freedom Fighter says:

Nehal with her sleep, makes many of us awaken. She reminds all of us the value of friendship and love.

Goudarzi remains in prison, though his actual whereabouts, and the conditions of his detention are still unknown. In his last blog post in 2009, Goudarzi himself called [fa] for freedom for two jailed activists.

Suicide is preventable and anyone experiencing suicidal feelings should seek help. Suicide.org and Befrienders Worldwide offer confidential support for the suicidal and those in emotional crisis.

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