Behnam Mahjoubi, a 33-year-old Dervish Iranian imprisoned in 2018 for peacefully protesting the regime’s religious persecution, died several days ago while in a coma, according to multiple on-the-ground sources.
Mahjoubi suffered from extreme panic attacks and was deemed unfit for imprisonment at the time of his sentencing; however, his psychiatrists’ recommendation was ignored, as reported by Amnesty International in 2020.
Over time, Mahjoubi experienced severe neglect of medical treatment while imprisoned. His inmates were forced to protest against the prison’s medical staff to get him transferred to a hospital when he began bleeding out of his ears, vomiting, and losing his ability to talk after several panic attacks, according to an inside source who spoke to Iran International.
While the regime has not released any detailed information on Mahjoubi’s death, it is suspected that Mahjoubi was given an overdose of an unknown medication while in a coma that caused his condition to rapidly deteriorate.
The staff at Tehran’s Loghman Hospital were ordered to keep Mahjoubi connected to life support for three days following his passing to maintain the appearance that he was still alive, according to Mahjoubi’s friend, Ibrahim Allahbakshi, who has also been persecuted for being Darvish.
“Reliable sources informed the officials of Loghman Hospital that Behnam Mahjoubi died, but [the doctors were] ordered to have the devices connected to him on display for three days,” tweeted Allahbakshi.
In a final effort to say goodbye to her son before he died, Behnam’s mother went to the hospital Monday night but was not allowed to see Mahjoubi, Iran News Wire reported.
“I’ve been here since this morning. They won’t let me see my son despite my crying and begging. They say his vital signs are very poor, but the soldier won’t let me see my child. I’m a mother, and I want to see my son,” she said in a video on Twitter.
When Mahjoubi’s mother was finally able to see her son, he had no vital signs, and the machines were breathing for him, tweeted Allahbakshi.
Mahjoubi was violently arrested alongside more than 300 Dervish Iranians February 19, 2018 during an organized gathering protesting the persecution of their religion and endured extensive torture related to his medical condition throughout his two years of imprisonment in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Dervish are a sub-category of Muslims who practice Sufism.
Iranians who oppose the regime in any way often face severe punishment, and in the case of the protest by Dervish Iranians in 2018, “more than 200 Gonabadi Dervishes were sentenced to a total of 1,080 years in prison, 5,995 lashes as well as internal ‘exile,’ travel bans, and bans on joining political and social groups,” according to Amnesty International.