Mehdi Amin, an Iranian political activist, was found stabbed to death at his residence in southern Ontario, Canada, sparking concerns and outrage among the Iranian community.
York Regional Police (YRP) was initially called to Amin’s home on Feeney Lane on Wednesday afternoon, where officers found him dead. The man’s death is now being treated as a homicide.
“His murder is evocative of the chain assassinations of Iranian dissidents in the 90s under Rafsanjani,” an Iranian-Canadian commented.
That this has happened in a country where freedom of speech and expression is a norm and a principle raises concerns over the safety of these political activists who had fled the oppressive regime in their native country.
“The Iranian-Canadian community in Toronto is in total shock,’ Ari, a friend of Amin who had known him for around six years, told Al Arabiya. “Justice needs to be served,” he stressed, asking the residents or anyone who knows more to come forward and help the local police.
Ari mentioned that he had spoken to Amin last week and that the 58-year-old was in good spirits like he always was.
Caved Shahrooz, a Toronto lawyer and a senior member at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, told CBC News that he knew Amin from a community of anti-regime activists in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
“There are a number of us who work for human rights and democracy back in Iran, and I am quite involved in that and Mehdi was quite involved with that, too,” Shahrooz said.
“He was well-liked, and devoted much of his free time to community events and protests,” Shahrooz added. He also mentioned that Amin lived most of his life in Iran before coming to Canada.
Iran’s extensive and repeated history of targeting dissidents abroad has sparked comments that its regime may be behind the killing, compelling social and political activists to speak up about the murder of Amin.
“This case should be of interest and concern to all Canadians.” Leo Housakos, Senator from Quebec wrote on Twitter.
According to CBC News, investigators are currently looking for a black Honda CRV with license plate BNEV917 in connection with the case. However, the motives behind Amin’s murder are not yet clear.
Any southern Ontario resident who may have noticed anything suspicious in the area on Wednesday or anyone with video surveillance from the neighborhood is asked to contact York police.