Kahrizak doctor dead; First Lady makes speech in Rome
15 Nov 2009 21:52
Kahrizak doctor, 26, dies of 'heart attack'
Norooz | Nov. 15, 2009Following Friday's reported suicide of Ramin Pourandarjani, a 26-year-old physician resident at Kahrizak detention center, Norooz News reported that new details of the case have come to light.
According to Norooz, Pourandarjani died on Tuesday in the health ward at Tehran Police headquarters. Officials cited his cause of death as a heart attack in his sleep.
The young physician, who was serving his post-graduate mandatory term of public service, had performed examinations of torture victims at Kahrizak detention center. One of his patients was Mohsen Rouholamini, a post-election detainee and son of a prominent conservative politician who died in prison. Pourandarjani had visited Rouholamini two days before his death and reportedly grew aware of the extent of torture practiced on the young man, according to the reformist website.
A week later, Pourandarjani was arrested and pressured to announce that his patient died as a result of "meningitis." This is while the official coroner's report cited "repeated blows to the head" as the cause of death.
Pourandarjani was released but interrogated several times by the investigation unit of NAJA [the police force], the martial court, and the Physician General's regulatory council. Due to the fact of his knowledge of the details of the happenings at Kahrizak detention center, the physician was accosted several times by unknown persons who threatened him to keep silent about what he had witnessed there.
Before his death, Pourandarjani recounted the events at Kahrizak for a small number of his friends. He had also shared with them that he feared for his safety. Not long after, he was reported dead.
Although the cause of death has been announced as a heart attack, authorities have prohibited his family from performing an autopsy. His funeral in the northern city of Tabriz took place under strict security measures. These unusual circumstances raise questions about the cause of the Kahrizak physician's sudden death.Iran's first lady makes rare speech at Rome summit
AP | Nov. 15, 2009
Iran's first lady has made a rare public appearance and even more rare, a speech, at a Rome forum on the eve of a U.N. summit to fight hunger.
The wife of Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad almost never appears in public with her husband and is believed never to have previously addressed a public gathering.
First Lady Azam al-Sadat Farahi came to a forum of wives of heads of state on Sunday. The summit on strategy to fight world hunger begins Monday at the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Farahi wrapped a black chador tightly about her as she sat among first wives. She made some remarks at the forum, which was led by Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Photo credit: AP/Pier Paolo Cito