Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Latest from Iran (13 November): Admitting a Blogger's Death in Detention

Sattar Beheshti0455 GMT: In a Monday of confusing and sometimes contradictory statements, the regime admitted that Sattar Beheshti, seized from his home on 30 October, died in prison last week while trying to hold off the allegation that the 35-year-old blogger had been killed during interrogation.

At one point, leading figures appeared to be backing away from responsibility. Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's National Security Committee, said that a "preliminary report" --- apparently completed only 24 hours after the Majlis said it would take up the case --- had shown "no traces of beating".

That was a denial too far for the judiciary, which had also said on Sunday that it would consider the situation. Iran Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said five bruises were found on Beheshti's body.

Still, Mohseni Ejei insisted that Beheshti died from natural causes: “His body showed no fractures of bones, nor did his skull." He reported that a doctor had found the blogger “extremely exhausted”, without considering whether the detention and interrogation might have contributed to the exhaustion. 

Mohseni Ejei, having tried to define what the judiciary's investigation would find, said the enquiry would last 45 days.

Beheshti, who was also held in 2009 in the Kahrizak detention center where post-election protesters were tortured and killed, was arrested by cyberpolice because of blog entries that challenged the repression of the regime: "We will not step down until we set ourselves free of the chains of existence, or break away from the chains of injustice!"


from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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