Skip to main content

Iran’s intelligence accused of killing Kurdish political activist

Yasser Mangouri’s family was informed of his death more than 50 days into his summoning in the northwestern city of Piranshahr.
Video image released by hackers of Evin Prison prisoner abuse.

Human rights groups and the family of Kurdish political activist Yasser Mangouri said he has died after being summoned by members of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry. Mangouri’s arrest occurred on July 17, but his death was officially conveyed to his family over 50 days later.

According to the Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the body has yet to be handed over to the family, which continues to be kept in the dark about the exact circumstances surrounding his death. Since Mangouri was summoned and held incommunicado by Iran’s intelligence forces, his family had repeatedly approached the authorities for news on his whereabouts, but to no avail.

Hengaw, another advocacy website that monitors developments in Iranian Kurdistan, quoted sources as saying that Mangouri had been “killed under torture.” According to a tally recorded by the same outlet, at least 23 Kurdish prisoners, including 15 political detainees, have been tortured to death in Iranian jails since 2017.

A welder by profession, Mangouri was the father of three and is said to have been previously investigated over his alleged links to opposition groups. The exact nature and affiliation of those groups has not been specified, but Iran’s Kurdish regions have for decades been treated with a securitized, zero-tolerance approach by the ruling Islamic Republic due to the anti-government activism by Kurdish movements and their sympathizers. Accused of pursuing separatist causes, most of those groups are currently based in northern Iraq, with many members also exiled across the Western world where they have also been subject to hunt-and-kill plots by Iran-linked agents.

Iranian authorities have in past cases promised investigations into the deaths of detainees. But rights activists argue that those pledges remain unfulfilled as they are solely meant to soothe public anger. In Mangouri’s case, even an official promise remains missing and a speedy funeral is expected to be held under tight security measures.

The death of 31-year-old Mangouri also followed a recent chain of serious cases of abuse, torture and deaths in Iranian prisons. Earlier this month, Hadi Atazadeh — convicted of alcohol possession —  was reported to have been lashed to death inside a prison in the northwestern city of Ahar. Iran’s authorities denied the report, blaming the prisoner’s death on multiple causes, including deteriorating health. The country’s judiciary is also reeling from a trail of CCTV videos leaked by a hacker group dropping the curtain on abuse against detainees in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

The Middle East in your inbox Insights in your inbox.

Deepen your knowledge of the Middle East

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial