Attorney and social justice activist, Farshid Hakki was brutally murdered in Tehran, Iran and now his friends are talking and are attributing the murder to the Iranian state intelligence agents.
Farshid Hakki, a human rights lawyer, economist and social justice activist worked in the area of child labor and environmental conservation of the Zagros Mountains. He was a consultant and contributor to a monthly magazine, “Economic Reviews.” Abdolreza Davari the director of that magazine was the first person to announce that Hakki has been murdered on 21 Oct 2018. Davari characterized the death as a “gruesome murder” and asked the Iranian Judiciary to investigate this case.
Tehran Police has reported that they found Farshid Hakki’s body burning in a vehicle and have transferred the body to the Office of the Coroner in Tehran to determine the cause of death.
Friends report that on the burnt body of Farshid Hakki, multiple stab wounds were visible.
Two of his friends have spoken with Zamaneh Media on condition of anonymity and they both suspect that Iranian state intelligence agents have killed Hakki.
One of the two describes Farshid Hakki as a person who believed in social justice and believed that he had to work towards change even within the harsh condition of the political status quo. The friend goes on to characterize Hakki as a leftist democrat: “Farshid was a leftist and more than anything he was a democrat. He did not believe in the elimination of other groups. He said ‘we should employ everyone from liberals and to the most traditional leftists in the building of democracy because democracy is the achievement of humanity and we can agree upon it.’”
Hakki’s friend says that because of his democratic way of life, he worked with a wide range of groups active in Iran. In the past ten years, Hakki had tried without success to establish a political party called “Pioneers of Justice.” According to Hakki’s friends, the Ministry of the Interior, both under Hassan Rohani administration and under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, refused to recognize this proposed party.
State Media in Iran have published conflicting reports on the murder. Tasnim, a media outlet close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has quoted the Office of the Chief Coroner saying that the cause of death was suicide and that Hakki had set himself on fire in the vehicle he was found in. Fars, another media outlet close to the state and IRGC suspected suicide and or accident. Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) however, published a report and said that Tehran’s Coroner Office has confirmed that they have not submitted any report about their investigations on the body of the man who was found burning in a vehicle. The Coroner Office has also told state media IRIB that their report on the cause of death will be delivered to the presiding judge over the case.
Farshid Hakki’s friend talking to Zamaneh says that Hakki was regularly followed by state security agents as an attempt to intimidate him: “Even when he traveled, they followed him.” He adds that Hakki was not suicidal: “He had a cause and he was fighting for this cause; he was a stranger to suicide.”
Farshid Hakki’s last note is available on his public channel in the messaging app Telegram. On 11 October 2018 Hakki writes: “….with reference to all the socioeconomic indicators and in light of the public discontent that exists, Marx’s articulation about the proletarians can be used for the entirety of the Iranian people (except for the thieves and looters that rule the economic structure): The people of Iran have nothing to lose but their chains.”
Iranian social media users are comparing Hakki’s murder to the chain murders of Iranian intellectuals, political activists and writers in the years 1988 to 1998. In this period, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence brutally tried to kill as many as eighty dissidents and made it look like accident, suicide and or murder-robbery. To this date the exact number of victims of the state-sponsored serial murders of Iranian dissidents is unknown.