These heart-wrenching snaps show the pet cat of a teenage protester who was brutally tortured by Iranian prison guards watching over her grave.
Tragic Yalda Aghafazli was seized by security police at an anti-government demonstration in Enqelab Square in Tehran, Iran, on 26th October.
She was taken to grim Qarchak Prison – a former cemetery turned livestock farm in the middle of the desert – where she was held on remand until 6th November.
The photos show the black cat sitting beside the flower-covered grave, apparently gazing at a picture of Yalda on a heart-shaped headstone.
An audio recording from her time in custody emerged in which she spoke of being tortured by prison guards into confessing that she was a protester.
In the recording, Yalda sounds hoarse from having screamed so much while being beaten.
She could be heard saying: “I have never experienced so much violence in my 19 years of life until now.
“I was beaten in these last 12 to 13 days so much, I screamed until I couldn’t scream any more.
“I didn’t feel any regrets until the last moment, that was why they beat me so hard, they said I didn’t feel any remorse.
“In the end I admitted everything and told them yes, I was fighting for my rights. I just shouted what I did until my voice was hoarse.
“They beat me so much you can’t imagine. I can’t talk much here now. When I go out, I will talk face to face and tell you all about it.”
But shortly after the recording emerged, Yalda was dead.
Some reports said she had taken her own life following the ordeal, but officials in the Islamic Republic claimed she was a drug user and had accidentally overdosed.
They also claimed that a post-mortem examination showed no signs of bruising or ill-treatment on her body.
But Iranian officials have widely been accused of inventing causes of death for protesters either killed or driven to taking their own lives by security police.
The snaps showing the family’s pet moggy reverently watching over Yalda’s grave were shared by the late teen’s bereaved mother on Instagram.
Protests broke out in Iran on 16th September after morality police beat 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini for wearing her hijab “improperly”.
She later died in custody, sparking worldwide outrage.
At least 481 protesters have been killed, while at least 109 are facing execution or death-penalty charges or sentences, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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