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'Official Leak': Rouholamini tortured to death

31 Aug 2009 11:5514 Comments

Mehr News Agency | August 31, 2009

The semi-official Mehr News Agency quoted "an informed source" on the cause of death of 25-year-old Mohsen Rouholamini. The fact that this is coming out on a news source close to the government suggests an official leak.

"The death was caused by physical stress, conditions of imprisonment, repeated blows and harsh physical treatment," according to the report.

"Ruholamini was held in Kahrizak detention center and, under unsuitable conditions was transported to Evin prison."

"As a result of his poor physical condition, at the end of the journey, and after a delay of 70 minutes in transferring him to hospital, he unfortunately died."

The leak coincides with comments by Iran's Supreme Leader in a speech to a gathering of students during which he stressed that those responsible for "infractions and crimes including those committed at Kahrizak prison" would be dealt with "without compromise."


Mohsen was a graduate student in computer engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran. He belonged to a prominent conservative family. His father, a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Health, was an adviser to Mohsen Rezaee, the conservative candidate in the June 12 presidential election. Mohsen's father was also a long-time member of the Basij militia.

Hossein Alaei, a retired Revolutionary Guard commander and friend of the Rouholamini family, wrote an open letter published on Nowruz News, a website close to the reformists, conveying the words of Abdolhussein Rouholamini, the father.

"When I saw his body I noticed that they had crushed his mouth. My son was an honest person. He wouldn't lie. I'm sure that he's given correct answers to anything they'd asked him," the letter said. "They probably couldn't stand his honesty and beat him until he died under torture."

Jafari: IRGC, Basij played no role in crimes

Tehran Bureau | August 31, 2009

On Saturday, the heads of the IRGC and the Tehran police force issued denials that their personnel committed abuses during the post-election unrest.

Tehran Police Chief, Azizollah Rajabzadeh, gave a press conference yesterday in which he denied that any abuses had occurred in the prison at Kahrizak.

"All of the accused sent to Kahrizak were sent by judicial order," Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Rajabzadeh as saying, "no detainees died in the prison."

The statement directly contradicts revelations regarding prisoner deaths by Hamid-Reza Katouzian, head of the Majles truth-finding committee tasked with investigating post-election abuses including the death of Kahrizak prisoner Mohsen Rouholamini.

On Aug 9, Katouzian dismissed claims by Iran's Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam that Ruholamini died of a "viral infection" and stated that there was clear evidence that the 25-year-old had been beaten to death.

"Whoever killed Mohsen has committed first-degree murder and should be punished accordingly," Katouzian said.

Also yesterday, in a similar statement, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad-Ali Jafari, attempted to distance his forces, which include the Basij paramilitary group, from accusations that that they had led a deadly attack on the Tehran University dormitories in the days following the June 12 election.

In a convoluted account of the events which left five students dead, Jafari said that "rioters," not students, had caused widespread damage, which prompted "people's forces" to join with "forces with unclear affiliations" who had entered "with unknown intentions."

Despite this lack of clarity, Jafari stated categorically that "Basij forces were not involved in these events," instead disowning them as "plain-clothed operatives and rogue elements."

"The trials of these individuals will be held this month," Jafari told reporters.

Jafari also stated that 20 Basij members had been killed in "indiscriminate terror attacks" by rioters armed with stones and wooden clubs or in traffic accidents. This compared with nine dead from among the "opposition forces and attackers."

It is not clear whether these figures relate directly to the up to 30 dead until now claimed by government officials.

Both statements follow a speech by President Ahmadinejad on Friday in which he praised the role of Iran's security forces and blamed prison abuses and attacks on students on "foreign plots."

"We have documents and evidence clearing our security, military and intelligence forces from such shameful conduct," he told worshipers.

"Our Basiji were beaten in streets in order to protect people. I assure you that the enemy-affiliated infiltrators were behind the corruption," the president said.

Mehdi Hashemi leaves Iran for UK

Fars News Agency | August 31, 2009

A source close to Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's family has revealed that Mehdi, the son of the influential cleric, has departed Iran for the UK.

The Fars News Agency report denies any link between Mehdi Hashemi's UK visit and rumors circulating about his imminent arrest after several post-election detainees on trial for attempting to stage a 'velvet coup' implicated him.

In the fourth session of the 'velvet coup' trials, reformist journalist Masoud Bastani claimed that Mehdi Hashemi had given guidelines to the manager of the Jomhouriat website to attack the performance of the first Ahmadinejad government.

"Attacking the four-year performance of the [Ahmadinejad] government and undermining the country's legal institutions [IRGC, Basij, Guardian Council, etc.], alleging vote fraud and creating sensitivity were among our guidelines," Bastani claimed.

The managing director of the Jomhouriat website, Hamzeh Karami, also alleged that Mehdi Hashemi laundered money, forged documents and illegally used public property during the election.

Ahmadinejad censures Principlists, defends bad-hijab women

Radio Farda | August 30, 2009

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Principlist lawmakers for opposing his cabinet picks, accusing them of trying to make it appear as if Iran were in a crisis.

Prominent Principlist lawmakers Ahmad Tavakoli, Ali Motahari and Mohammad-Reza Bahonar described Ahmadinejad's proposed cabinet as weak and full of designated ministers whose expertise did not match their proposed ministerial positions. They also criticized the president for not seeking the counsel of Parliament in choosing his ministers.

"The president's daily schedule includes dozens of meetings with different people who come and talk and offer suggestions or write letters. I personally read 20 to 30 letters every day. I sometimes even call these people and talk to them," Ahmadinejad said in response.

"I even talked to a five-year-old who wrote me a letter. I talked for 20 minutes with a third grader who had ideas for traffic, pollution and housing problems."

The Iranian president rejected the idea that Iran's political and economic situation was in a critical condition. "Some gentlemen speak in a manner as if the country is in a crisis," he said.

"The country has problems. More than 100 countries in the world have serious problems. Our problems are far less in comparison to others," said Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian president went on to voice his disapproval of confronting women on the streets for their lack of proper hijab.

"Why is it that some people think that culture is dependent on young women's choice of clothes? Why is it that they think they can raise cultural awareness by force? This is repression. The people have willingly chosen this culture and have lost their children in this course [upholding revolutionary values]."

Principlist MP doubts Basij casualty numbers claimed by IRGC

Rahe Sabz | August 31, 2009

Reformist lawmaker Nasrollah Torabi said authorities guilty of crimes committed at Kahrizak will be publicly tried unless some of the perpetrators are influential figures who could damage the reputation of the establishment if their identities become known.

In response to a question about a statement made by a member of the Majlis truth-finding committee, who had said that the Kahrizak trials would not be public, Torabi said the issue was for the court to decide.

"If the probe into the incidents of the Kahrizak detention center does not harm national security the trial will be public. However, if there are people whose names must not be mentioned and naming them would damage the reputation of the establishment or would expose the secrets of the establishment then the trials will not be public," the Shahr-e Kord representative added.

Torabi went on to dispute claims made by IRGC commander Mohammad-Ali Jafari regarding the 20 Basiji casualties in the post-election unrest.

"Considering those statistics, how is it that we have not seen any funerals [held for the Basijis]?"

"Whenever they officially announce their [the deceased Basijis] names we can discuss it but so far we have only seen one Basij casualty and there was a funeral held for him."

"Despite the Supreme Leader's order to deal with the crimes committed after the election, it appears that some institutes have retreated and claimed innocence."

Torani added that if the IRGC command had the names of the Basij casualties, Seda va Sima [State television] would have already aired a report about it.

"If they are to investigate the crimes committed after the election, the issue will go beyond low-ranking officers," the lawmaker said.

Principlist Bahonar defends role of Majlis in vetting executive cabinet

Tabnak | August 30, 2009

Deputy Majlis Speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar said he will not be voting for a minority of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proposed ministers.

The Principlist lawmaker, who was speaking in opposition to the 10th cabinet line-up in Majlis on Sunday, began by saying that it was difficult for him to oppose the governments programs given his liking for the president.

"Because a comprehensive outline of the government's programs has not been given to Majlis, we have no choice but to review the programs of different ministers and their performance in the 9th administration. The problem with this [Majlis] bylaw is that a speaker must either be in favor or against the issue at hand and there is no grey option."

Bahonar went on to say that the Iranian president was well within his rights to choose and introduce his cabinet in the manner he did. "We also concede that a minister who is not to the liking of the president will not be able to do his job properly," he said. "But the Constitution has also defined responsibilities and rights for the Parliament."

"Majlis must have confidence in the proposed ministers. The confidence of the president in his cabinet picks does not obligate Majlis to give a vote of confidence to these individuals."

"Lawmakers are responsible for evaluating the efficiency of the ministers. However, it appears that the president was of the opinion that Majlis should vet their [the ministers] overall and moral credibility and not concern itself with their efficiency."

Bahonar criticized the lack of inclusion of prominent figures in the new Ahmadinejad cabinet line-up, saying, "There were a number of ministers in the 9th cabinet who were a source of pride. One example is Dr. Baqeri-Lankarani, but what [has] happened [now] that their cooperation has decreased?"

"Some of the ministers have been proposed for four or five different ministries that do not correspond with their field of expertise and this, in my opinion, is one of the surprise-invoking acts of the new administration," the prominent Principlist added.

MP: Reformists will not be eliminated

Kalame | August 30, 2009

Reformist lawmaker Nasrollah Torabi accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of continuously making statements to create chaos in the country.

"His [Ahmadinejad] remarks at Friday Prayers were full of contradictions. On the one hand, he says 40 million people voted and thanks them. And on the other, he demands punishment for opposition leaders, in other words those who did not vote for him."

Torabi stressed that punishing opposition leaders would be tantamount to punishing the nation. "Ahmadinejad wants the leaders, who have the support of the people, to be punished," he said. "These leaders have sacrificed their honor and credibility to convince people to come to the scene and vote."

"Ahmadinejad wants the leaders of the protesters to be punished. This is while in our view vandals and arsonists did not belong to the reformists," Torabi said, adding that the saboteurs could have been dispatched by the governing party to infiltrate the ranks of protesters.

"Reformists favor dialogue and logic. Reformists are the ones whose leader Mr. [Seyyed Mohammad] Khatami proposed the idea of 'dialogue among civilizations' in the international arena."

"Reformists are not accustomed to committing arson and acts of sabotage. Perhaps the leaders he [Ahmadinejad] calls for [their arrest and trial] are his own people and I should say we are also in favor of seeing them tried."

"But if by requesting the trial of the [protest] leaders, Ahmadinejad means Hashemi, Khatami, Mousavi and Karroubi, we must say we have never seen these four call people to protest. And if he [Ahmadinejad] is trying to create an imaginary enemy and use that to offer his analysis on different podiums, that is a different matter."

Torabi went on to say that it was not for the chief executive to read out an indictment at the Friday Prayers podium and sit to judgment.

"Reformists can only be isolated from power by imprisonment, but they cannot be completely eliminated because eliminating the reformists means the elimination of the people," the Shahr-e Kord representative added.

Torabi criticized the use of the Friday Prayers and Seda va Sima [state Television] by the Principlists. He also challenged the governing party to a debate.

"If they are so sure of themselves why don't they hold round tables with both parties so that it becomes clear what both sides are saying."


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With this, Khamenei should dissolve immediately the IRGC and the Basij Militia and just let the Regular Army and the LEF enforce the law. All the present officers and members of the formers, I meant all, regardless of their statures and closeness to the present regime must be tried and dealt with accordingly by a neutral body as to their participation in the post elections aftermath. The guilty ones must have to suffer the same fate as those who were tortured, raped, and died in their own hands.

shetty / August 31, 2009 9:40 AM

P.S. The Police Force should be sanitized too and the first one that should be purged is the big liar,Tehran Police Chief, Azizollah Rajabzadeh.

shetty / August 31, 2009 9:48 AM

I only wish the problem was contained in the Basij and the Sepah. The behaviour of security forces on the streets during the street riots, the post election torture and rape and the show trials, are probably a small manifestation of the brutalities of the Islamic regime since its inception.

I my opinion this type of ignorance runs deep into the heart of the government, mainly because of the doctrine of being answerable to god and not the people, whom they are suppose to serve.

Mohammad Reza / August 31, 2009 3:02 PM

I can picture what the five year said & wrote to Ahmadinejad; "Dear President, I learnt a new word today...& my elders told me it had only one meaning" Are you ready? It means "You"!

Jaker / August 31, 2009 4:44 PM

I can picture what the five year said & wrote to Ahmadinejad; "Dear President, I learnt a new word today called "Mad"...& my elders told me it had only one meaning" Are you ready? It means "You"!

Jaker / August 31, 2009 4:46 PM

If Mohsen's father had an iota of ordinary human decency he would have withered to death for what has happened to his son. What father could withstand such a catastrophe? But the true Moslem in him glosses the torture of his son as 'ascension to heaven'. Is there a word to describe the callousness of this 'father'? But in my mind it is relatively straightforward to understand it. This is what Islam does to people: It turns ordinary folks into monsters and quickens the murderous hand of the wicked and the degenerate.

Borzu Zand / August 31, 2009 10:50 PM

People have not realized yet, the problem is Islam.

And this Islamic regime is a small manifestation of the brutalities of the Islam in Iran in past 1400 years.

Wake up people and stop praying to Arab GOD.

Gooya / August 31, 2009 11:17 PM

Thank God they weren't tortured American style. He might still be alive in a bed with 3 hot meals, a gym and a cable television.

Boston 5 / August 31, 2009 11:22 PM

What I cannot ever understand is...is that the entire rest of Islam sits down quietly when atrocities are acted out in the name of Islam...is it that their version of the "Koran" says ignore every horrible act in my name...but be sure to pray to me at "Ramadan" as the greatest God, ever since sliced bread. It doesn't seem worth it having two extremes of some God that you tolerate for both evil & good. God I am sure is someone who is full of love but I can't say who is the true God anymore, & by the day I am hedging my bets that it's not the Islamic one. Why? Because I never see the follower's of same jump out of their "Breeches" (trousers) defending their God (if it is the true God), the same way as those who march defending the preaching of the "Koran" & speaking out & marching down those who violate its pages with the same enthusiasm as marching to rushing to the "Wall of Sin" to pelt it with stones.

Religion, especially this one flummoxes me at the best of times...especially on those days of the "Ramadan" praying & flailing & running out of their "Breeches" (trousers) time. And I have to say when I look on or read about it, does their God...if they have one, "Really Care" what kind of representatives the whole of Islam is of him...or does he just not care, period, about the entire lot of them. Is he saying from what he sees daily with (I take it his all seeing eyes) I want nothing, but nothing, to do with the vast majority of them. "Nothing"! (Hear Ye All)? "Nothing"!

Jaker / September 1, 2009 9:50 AM

It is sad that the unfortunate and tragic events are leading to Islamophobic comments on this website. Torture & abuse happens in all nations. No one blamed Christianity for GW Bush's war on Iraq & Afghanistan & his support for the Israeli atrocities inflicted upon the women & children of Gaza. After all he claimed that the 'Christian' God spoke to him. I have not heard this being stated of Ayatullah Khamanei and neither has he said that he speaks for the 12th Imam. What is most interesting about the Iranian situation is that the voices of protest are also being led from within the religious classes and this is how one expects it to be within a religious system. No system whether wholly religious or secular can be perfect because unfortunately they are run by humans. The importamt thing is that those in authority remain subject to challenge for their wrongdoing that is the only sure way to reform.Islam has never been the problem and has greatly benefitted Iran witness the beautiful architectural wonders of the

rezvan / September 1, 2009 1:51 PM

So Rezvan...what are you saying? God creates human's & human's can do what they bloody well like. Mind, my insertion of the word "Bloody" is appropriate in this case. & what good are architectural buildings of beauty...when people are being oppressed beneath them. God doesn't deserve a human race...that ignores his teaching in favour of good looking buildings. It's a sham, Iran at present is a sham...Islam is a sham...& the revolving earth is a right sham...at this present moment in time...when it should have learnt from past mistakes. I hope those fine buildings will sooner rather than later have a more deserving government/population beneath them. In every part of the world, but especially Iran!

Jaker / September 1, 2009 4:28 PM

I concurr with your final sentiments that all nations deserve better governments and we should all pray or hope and work towards this goal. But quite honestly if you read the history of revolutions of whatever hues, secular or religious, there is a lot of blood, turmoil and injustice before some semblance of normality is restored. It has taken 250 years for the US to reach its state of political maturity and democracy and the early years were filled with much blood and turmoil. Same with the French, the Soviet and Chinese revolutions. It seems whilst we have some free will but largely we have to surrender to the forces of history and Islam in its generic meaning simply means 'surrender'. How this chain of historical forces works through and the final result is largely outside our control. All we can do is to what we feel compelled and duty bound to do to protect life and liberty and we can blame it all on God ultimately, but someone's still has to make the effort to put things right. Peace.

rezvan / September 1, 2009 5:41 PM

May God bless Mohsen

Tony Cavagnaro / January 16, 2010 11:01 PM

If only more people could read this..

Tanner Reece / May 28, 2010 3:48 AM