News / Middle East

Iranian Parliament to Investigate Death of Blogger

Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti posted on the Iranian opposition website.
Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti posted on the Iranian opposition website.
Iran's attorney general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'ii said in a press conference Monday that Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti's body was bruised.

He cited forensic reports which said five areas on his body showed bruising, including his leg, calves, hands, and shoulders.

On Sunday, the deputy head of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad Aboutorabi, called for the formation of a special committee to investigate Beheshti's death.

Aboutorabi said the investigation should be completed as quickly as possibile.

Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, head of the judicial system in Iran, also issued a call for an immediate investigation into Beheshti's death, saying all responsible should be brought to justice immediately. The call came Sunday in a statement by the High Council for Human Rights.
 
Another member of parliament, Ahmad Tavakoli, had warned about the silence of the judiciary and the foreign ministry regarding the death of Beheshti, according to Mehr. He added that officials need to go after corrupt officials instead of going after bloggers and the media.

A journalist in Tehran told VOA that more foreign support for the blogger [Beheshti], means less possibility that his case will be fully investigated but that if more people inside, like Tavakoli, follow up, the chances are higher that the investigation wil gain traction.

Opposition website Kaleme reported that Iran's attorney general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'ii,  will hold a press conference Monday to answer questions about Beheshti's death.

Beheshti, 35, was arrested in his home in late October, and his family was asked on Wednesday to pick up his body from a detention center in Tehran.

In his last posting before being arrested, Beheshti wrote that security services had threatened him - saying his mother "would soon be wearing black" if he continued speaking out.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department demanded Iranian authorities investigate his death while in custody last week.

France and Britain are also calling on Iran to explain Beheshti's death.

Human rights groups Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have joined in calling on Iran to release details of his death.

Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said cases like Beheshti's are not uncommon.

"Our organization has documented at least 17 deaths of political prisoners inside Iranian prisons since 2003," he said. "There is no doubt Beheshti was taken to custody, died within less than a week, and his body is already buried without allowing family to have access to it or have an autopsy performed."

He added that the facts of the case were irrefutable and that if the death had been due to natural causes, Iranian authorities could have easily proven it by allowing an autopsy.

Ordinary Iranians are skeptical anything will be done to address Beheshti's death.

A business owner in Tehran told VOA he thinks that in the best case scenario, a few officers who carried out orders will be charged, but those who gave the orders will not face punishment. 

Beheshti's case recalls the 2003 case of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photographer, who was arrested and later died while in custody. While her case received a lot of international scrutiny, and even some parliamentary discussions, no one was held accountable for her death.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More