Arrests made over death of detained blogger: Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has arrested several people over the death in detention of blogger Sattar Beheshti, prosecutors said Tuesday after complaints about his fate were raised internationally.

"Yesterday (Monday), several people were arrested," Tehran's public prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, said without elaborating, the ISNA news agency reported.

"When we learned about (Beheshti's) death, we began an inquiry.... We hope to make the findings public within the next 10 days," Dolatabadi said.

The judiciary's High Council of Human Rights said on Sunday that "all aspects of the case have been accurately investigated following a special order by judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani."

Opposition activists say Beheshti, who died on November 3 aged 35, was tortured to death in prison for criticising Iran's regime on the Internet.

The blogger's fate provoked an international outcry, and human rights watchdog Amnesty International said he may have died under torture.

The judiciary says Beheshti was detained in Evin prison, but opposition groups claim he was kept at the notorious Kahrizak detention centre since his arrest in late October at the request of Iran's cyber police.

Kahrizak was temporarily shut down by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in July 2009 after three inmates died following mistreatment by guards.

Beheshti's death has provoked outrage inside the regime -- a rare case of Iran's acceptance of international criticism over a human rights complaint.

Conservative lawmaker Mohammad Dehqan on Tuesday lambasted the judiciary for failing to prosecute those involved in the Kahrizak fiasco, the Mehr news agency reported.

"We would not have witnessed (Beheshti's death), if guilty agents and judges involved in the Kahrizak incident had been dealt with" by the judiciary, said Dehqan, who sits on the parliament's judicial commission and the residing board.

He also demanded an explanation from the police for its "treatment" of Beheshti, while questioning the force's "previous actions which had tarnished the regime's reputation" and had fuelled what he termed anti-regime propaganda by foreign media.

Hundreds of opposition figures -- politicians, journalists, bloggers, lawyers, rights activists, union figures and media workers -- are in Iranian prisons, according to international human rights groups.


Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE