Iran ex-prosecutor blamed for prison deaths

Last Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 10:05

Tehran: A parliamentary probe has found a former Tehran prosecutor responsible for the death by torture of at least three anti-government protesters detained in the turmoil following the disputed June elections, a conservative Iranian Web site reported on Thursday.
Saeed Mortazavi was the Tehran city prosecutor who was responsible for monitoring Kahrizak prison. After months of denials, Iran`s judiciary acknowledged last month that three detainees there were beaten to death by their jailers.

The Alef Web site, which reported the probe results, is close to conservative lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli. It said Mortazavi personally ordered that detained protesters be taken to Kahrizak - a facility on Tehran`s outskirts where much of the prisoner abuse took place.

Iran`s judiciary has charged 12 officials at Kahrizak - three of them with murder - but has not identified them.

Mortazavi is detested by reformists, who have dubbed him the "butcher of the press" and "torturer of Tehran" because he was behind the closure of more than 120 newspapers and the imprisonment of dozens of journalists and political activists over the past decade.

Anger over the abuse claims, which emerged in August, extended far beyond the reformist camp, with influential conservative figures in the clerical hierarchy condemning the mistreatment of detainees.


First Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 10:05

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