Mehdi Nekouee should have been fighting for his life on a hospital ward.

The 20-year-old law student was one of the first of hundreds shot by Revolutionary Guard in spontaneous anti-government protests that swept across Iran last week.

But instead of lying in a hospital bed – or the rack of a morgue – Mr Nekouee’s family believe he was spirited away by intelligence officers removing dead and injured protesters to hide the true scale of the government’s brutal crackdown.

“He was critical but alive when he arrived at the hospital,” said his uncle, Ahmed. “We have heard nothing since,” he added tearfully. 

He had first heard of his nephew’s injuries on Instagram, where he was moved by messages of…

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