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Iran: Suspect Arrested in Killing of Female Dissident Protester

Iran's judiciary said it has detained a suspect in the killing of 33-year-old dissident Maryam Faraji, who went missing earlier this month after facing charges for participating in anti-government protests.

In a report published Sunday, the judiciary's news agency Mizan quoted a prosecutor in the town of Fardis, near Tehran, as saying authorities arrested a former fiance of the dissident a few days earlier.

Prosecutor Hassan Jahanshahlu said Faraji's body had been found buried in a garden owned by the sister of the ex-fiance. He said the man confessed to killing Faraji when faced with "evidence" of his involvement. The prosecutor also said Faraji's body had been transferred to a medical examiner's office.

The Mizan report did not name the suspect or say in what city the body was found. It also did not specify when and how Faraji was killed.

Faraji's lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghassi, had told VOA Persian last week he feared Faraji had been killed after she went missing on July 5.

In a Sunday tweet, Aghassi confirmed that Faraji's body had been found in the garden of the suspect's sister and that the suspect had confessed. He also called for an investigation to determine the motive for the killing and to answer unspecified questions that had been raised by Faraji's family members.

Faraji, a graduate student of management and a financial officer of a private company in Tehran, had been arrested in early January for taking part in weeklong anti-government protests that swept Iran at the time, mostly outside the capital. Authorities charged her with illegal assembly and harming national security, and sentenced her in April to three years in prison, with a two-year ban on leaving the country.

Faraji had been freed on bail, awaiting the outcome of an appeal, when she disappeared.

Source: Voice of America

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