Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – A forest fire claimed the lives of four environmental activists who were working to contain the flames searing through Marivan (western Iran) on Saturday, August 25, 2018.
Sharif Bajour and Omid Kohnepoushi, members of the Chya Green Association, and Mohammad Pazhouhi and Rahmat Hakiminia, members of the Marivan Department of Environment, died from smoke inhalation and severe burns.
Two others — Mokhtar Aminejad, 33, and Mohammad Moradveisi, 57 — were injured in the flames. Moradveisi was transferred to the city of Sanandaj by helicopter due to the severity of his burns.
Marivan County Governor Mohammad Sharifi said that the fire broke out near the villages of Selsi and Pileh in Marivan County due to the scorching temperatures the region had been experiencing the day before. Of those who were present when the flames swelled out of control, i.e. civilians, environmental activists, and forces from the Department of Environment, Mohammad Sharifi said: “Unfortunately on Saturday morning at 9, when gusts of wind exacerbated the blaze, four were engulfed and died, and two more were injured.”
Bajour was a member of the Board of Directors of the Chya Green Association and a well-known environmental activist who had reportedly been arrested and interrogated several times by security apparatuses in regards to his environmental activities.
Chya Green Association was among the most active NGOs orchestrating efforts to contain the fire. Within hours of the activists’ deaths, Marivan citizens took to the streets in front of Bou-Ali hospital where the bodies of the dead are being held.