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Iran sacks cyber police chief over custodial death of blogger

Last Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 19:59

Tehran: The cyber police chief of Tehran has been sacked for negligence in events leading to the death in custody of an Iranian blogger, according to Iranian police.

Colonel Saeed Shokrian "was removed from his post due to negligence and lax supervision over personnel under his command," Gulf News quoted Iran``s police chief, Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam, as saying.

His dismissal came weeks after the killing of 35-yaer-old blogger Sattar Beheshti, reportedly tortured to death after criticising Iran`s regime in his posts, provoked an international outcry.

Beheshti was found dead in his cell in a Tehran prison on November 3 after being arrested on October 30, according to chief prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie. Judiciary officials have promised a lawful probe into the case, leading to seven arrests so far, according to Iranian media.

"The judiciary will investigate the case within the framework of law, and will confront those responsible for the incident," said Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of the judiciary``s High Council of Human Rights. He however called the death "suspicious".

Preliminary investigations by the coroner, the prosecutor and the parliamentary committee suggest Beheshti``s death was caused by mistreatment, either through beating or psychological torture, at the hands of the cyber police.

Iran formed the police unit in early 2011 to combat "cyber crimes", particularly those committed on social networking sites which are popular among the opposition and dissidents.

First Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 19:58
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