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

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.