Iran to probe anti-government blogger's death in custody

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 November, 2012, 3:55am

Iran's parliament will investigate the death of a blogger in police custody, following international condemnation of the incident.

Sattar Beheshti, 35, was arrested on October 30, rights groups reported, after receiving death threats. Beheshti, who ran an anti-government blog, died in custody, possibly from torture, Amnesty International said.

Deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Hassan Abu-Torabi Fard said yesterday a committee would investigate Beheshti's death, Mehr news agency reported. "The national security and foreign policy committee of Parliament has investigated this topic and has formed a committee in this regard," Abu-Torabi Fard was quoted as saying.

Lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli criticised Iran's judiciary for failing to address Beheshti's death. "I recommend that instead of dealing harshly with bloggers, you go after corrupt officials," Mehr quoted him as saying.

Iran has previously rejected criticism of its human rights record as politically motivated by Western opposition to the Islamic Republic, but its leadership has taken action on allegations of prisoner mistreatment.

In 2009, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the closure of the notorious Kahrizak detention centre because the centre could not preserve "the rights of detainees".


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