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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid