Defenders of Iranians' Human Rights Sentenced to Years in Jail
11 Jan 2011 23:10
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Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Receives 11 Year Sentence
Feminist Wire (via Ms.) | Jan 10
Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian Human Rights lawyer, received an 11 year prison sentence. Sotoudeh was arrested in September and went to trial on November 15 for allegedly acting against state security, assembling, and collusion with intent to disrupt national security. She was also charged for working with the Center for Human Rights Defenders, which was founded by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi. In addition to the 11 year prison sentence, the court has prohibited Sotoudeh from practicing law or leaving Iran for the next 20 years.
Before her arrest, Sotoudeh was a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and on the board of directors of the Society for Defense of Children's Rights.
Hadi Fhaemi, a spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, stated, "This is a transparently political sentence aimed at taking one of Iran's leading human rights defenders out of practice via a gross miscarriage of justice. Nasrin Sotoudeh has broken no laws, but is being jailed because she has upheld Iranian and international law in a judicial system bent on violating human rights."
Iran Jails Human Rights Lawyer for 11 Years
Guardian | Jan 10
Iran also handed down heavy prison terms to other political prisoners arrested in the aftermath of the disputed Iranian presidential election in June 2009.
A six-year jail sentence for Shiva Nazar Ahari, a 26-year-old women's rights activist, was commuted to four years and 74 lashes in an appeals court for "gathering and colluding against the national security", a vague charge used by Iran to convict several political prisoners in recent years.
Two members of Freedom Movement of Iran, a political organisation founded in 1961 by political figures who played significant roles in the Islamic revolution, were also given heavy sentences. According to opposition websites, Emad Bahavar, a young member of the movement, was sentenced to 10 years in jail and banned for another 10 years from working in the media and political parties.
Mehdi Gholizadeh, another activist who has already spent 65 days in Evin, was given six years in prison. Several members of the Freedom Movement of Iran, including its secretary-general, Ebrahim Yazdi, a former deputy prime minister and a former foreign minister, still remain in jail.
See also: "Human Rights Activist Shiva Nazar-Ahari Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison, Exile and 74 Lashes" (RAHANA) | "Ten Years in Jail Approved for Iranain Activist [Bahavar]" (Radio Zamaneh) | "Mehdi Gholizadeh Aghdam Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison" (RAHANA)
Appeals Court Increases Jail Term for Iranian Student Activist
Radio Zamaneh | Jan 10
Mohammad Darvishi, jailed Iranian student, was handed an increased sentence of five years and six months in prison by an Iranian appellate court.
Radio Zamaneh has gathered that Mohammad Darvishi, a nursing student at Shahr-e Kord Open University, was arrested by Shahr-e Kord intelligence office in August for his role is issuing the student announcement condemning the execution of Farzad Kamangar and four other political prisoners in May.
He was held in solitary confinement for 21 days and after intense interrogations and one and half months in prison, was released on a $100,000 bail.
Darvishi was handed a sentence of three years and two months in prison in a Kouhdasht Revolutionary court in December.
Death Sentence Upheld for Political Prisoner Jafar Kazemi
RAHANA | Jan 9
Jafar Kazemi's lawyer stated that the appeals court has upheld the death sentence for her client and the 31st branch of the Supreme Court has denied the request for reviewing the case. The 36th branch of the Tehran Court of Appeals presided by Hojjatoleslam Zargar has upheld the sentence.
His lawyer added that her client has been held in solitary confinement for a long time but she was not aware whether he or his family has been put under any other type of pressure.
Jafar Kazemi, a 46-year-old lithographer for textbooks and pamphlets at Amir Kabir University, was arrested September of 2009. He was held in the solitary confinement unit of Ward 209 and was transferred to Ward 350 after 74 days. Kazemi was also imprisoned for nine years in the eighties for political reasons.
Jafar Kazemi's wife, Roudabeh Akbari, wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary General urging him to make every effort to stop his execution. He had been tried in the 28th branch of the Revolutionary Court.
Kazemi's lawyer, Nasim Ghanavi, reports that his client is accused of "enmity with God through sympathy for People's Mojahedin Organization." He has denied all the charges.
His lawyer further stated that the lower court, the appeals court and the Supreme Court have not reviewed the presented defense and have all convicted him of enmity with God.
According to [him], Jafar Kazemi's sentence has been sent to the court of execution and currently there are no other legal options available in order to halt the execution.
See also: "The Judge Told My Husband Jafar Kazemi: 'We Should Have Executed You Back in the 1980′s"" (Committee of Human Rights Reporters via Persian2English)
Journalist Nasour Naghipour Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison
RAHANA | Jan 8
Journalist and cultural activist Nasour Naghipour has been sentenced to 7 years in prison by the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi.
He has been convicted for membership in the "Human Rights Activists in Iran" and anti-regime propaganda. However he has never been a member of the aforementioned group and has strongly denied membership in the group.
According to RAHANA, he was arrested on March 2, 2009 by the cyber unit of IRGC and was released on a $100,000 bail after 110 days of detention. He is the director of a cultural website that has been active for many years. Yalda Mozafarian and Amir Raeisian, his lawyers, have objected to the verdict and are hoping that the sentence will be reduced.
Imprisoned Journalist -- 70 Days In Prison, One Phone Call, One Visit
ICHRI | Jan 10
A source close to the case of imprisoned journalist Nazanin Khosravani, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that despite claims that she is charged with "acting against national security," during her only meeting with her family, she told them that she has not accepted the charge as she has not done anything to warrant such an accusation.
According to the said source, security officers who refuse to present any evidence of the journalist's wrongdoing, continue to pressure her in different ways to accept these charges. Refusing to grant her permission to make phone calls or to have visitations with her family, holding her in solitary confinement, and keeping her in a state of judicial limbo are some of the ways they are pressuring Khosravani. All this is despite the fact that the Prosecutor's Office authorities have stated that Nazanin Khosravani's investigations are complete.
Human rights activists fear that pressure on this imprisoned journalist is mounting as her case continues to be kept in secrecy and she is not allowed to have contact with her family. Judicial authorities and the Prosecutor's Office authorities continue to maintain silence about these fears. Last Wednesday, Nazanin Khosravani's family were told that her case was sent to court. However, after her lawyer and family members went to the courts, they realized that the case had not been forwarded.
Since her arrest in early November, she has only been able to call her family once, six days after her arrest. Last week, she was able to visit with her family for the first and only time since her arrest. The family's efforts to visit with her again, or to be able to talk to her on the telephone have been futile.
U.S. Condemns Prison Term for Iranian Lawyer
CNN | Jan 11
In a statement released Monday evening, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called Sotoudeh "a strong voice for rule of law and justice in Iran."
"The United States strongly condemns the unjust and harsh verdict against human rights activist and respected lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in Iran, and calls for her immediate release," Crowley said.
"Her conviction is part of a systematic attempt on the part of Iranian authorities to silence the defense of democracy and human rights in Iran," he added. "It is one in a series of harsh sentences targeting the lawyers of Iran's human rights community, which perseveres despite threats, torture, and imprisonment."
Iran Air Crash -- Update
Uskowi on Iran | Jan 10
The Boeing 727 that crashed in Orumiyeh on Sunday was involved in another mishap ten years ago. Then the plane nose-landed at Shiraz airport when its front landing gear could not open. This aircraft was first put in service by Iran Air in 1974 and has been banned to enter European airspace along with other older planes due to safety concerns.
Intelligence Ministry Confirms Capture of Terrorists behind N. Scientist's Assassination
Fars | Jan 10
Iran's Intelligence Ministry in a statement on Monday confirmed earlier reports on the capture of the terrorists who assassinated Iran's nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi last year, revealing that the terrorist cell was an affiliate of the Israeli Mossad agency.
The intelligence ministry said in its statement that identification and apprehension of the terrorists was the result of extensive and precise security measures.
"Following extensive security measures and precise monitoring of information and thanks to God's graces, the intelligence ministry forces succeeded in identifying and arresting the main elements responsible for this terrorist crime and disbanded a spying and terrorist network affiliated to the Qods Occupying regime (Israel)," the statement said.
Arrested Terrorists Confess Affiliation to Mossad
Fars | Jan 10
The terrorists who assassinated Iran's nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi last year have confessed to their direct links with the Israeli Mossad after they were arrested, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Monday, adding that the assassins have been trained and equipped by the Israeli agency.
"These individual have confessed that they had been trained by Mossad for assassination and that all their needed tools and equipments had been supplied by Mossad," member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Esmail Kosari told FNA.
Highlighting foreign backup for the terrorists, the legislator said the terrorists could martyr Ali Mohammadi despite all the heightened security precautions and measures taken by the Iranian intelligence forces, meaning that the terrorists could have not acted independently and have certainly been trained, equipped and guided by foreign spy agencies.
U.S. Citizen Said Held in Iran Is Safe in Turkey: U.S.
Reuters | Jan 10
A U.S. citizen reported by Iranian news organizations to have been detained in Iran is safe and in Turkey, the U.S. State Department said on Monday but declined to name her or to say if she was ever in Iran.
The woman, identified as Hall Talayan by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, has been the subject of conflicting reports over the last several days, including that she had been arrested on suspicion of spying.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said U.S. diplomats had contacted the woman in Turkey by telephone.
"She is safe and did not request further assistance from us," he told reporters. "As far as we're concerned, this case is closed."
President Criticizes Majlis Ratifications, Rise of Slander
Mehr | Jan 10
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed disapproval of two recent Majlis ratifications calling for the creation of a new ministry and the revision of the process to select a central bank governor.
Ahmadinejad also criticized the rise of an "atmosphere of slander" in the country and defended First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi against the accusations of involvement in financial corruption recently leveled at him.
On January 2, the parliament approved a bill calling for the establishment of a sports and youth ministry.
On January 5, the Majlis ratified a bill stating that lawmakers must endorse the election of the central bank governor after the election of a candidate by the bank's general assembly.
On the Majlis ratification about the central bank, Ahmadinejad said, "It is not the right path for the Majlis to approve a law to limit the authority of the president and the executive branch of the government."
The president also responded to the recent accusations claiming the first vice president is involved in financial corruption.
He said that the move is "politically motivated" and added that Rahimi is a man of moral integrity and the people who are slandering him are themselves facing various charges.
MP Elyas Naderan recently criticized the vice president on a live television program aired by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Khamenei Favors Stifling Moussavi and Karroubi Instead of Prosecution
Babak (insideIRAN) | Jan 10
The Supreme Leader over the last two years has decided not to allow security forces and judicial officials to deal directly with the leaders of the opposition. Even during the worst days of crisis in the summer of 2009, Khamenei did not sanction the arrests of Moussavi or Karroubi.
It is clear that one of the most successful strategies employed by the Islamic Republic to deal with popular dissidents, especially those leaders with a strong social base, is to isolate them. Instead of putting them on trial or incarcerating them, the Islamic Republic has successfully managed in the past to isolate such figures and cut them off from their base. This creates an information blockade; their followers remain deprived of any valuable information about their leaders. This method does not require deploying larger numbers of security and military forces and is much less costly than direct suppression. The regime used this method most effectively against the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazerii, who died last year, after spending many years under house arrest in Qom.
Ayatollah Montazeri, who was once Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's deputy supreme leader, and was considered by Khamenei as his most potent rival. After Ayatollah Khomeini removed Montazeri from his post, the regime purged all of Montazeri's supporters from key institutions, such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Ministry of Intelligence. After a few years of house arrest, the average person began to forget that Montazeri was once one of the most powerful Ayatollahs; a man who was once a heartbeat away from assuming the position of Supreme Leader.
This same method of trying to make opposition leaders irrelevant is now being implemented, especially in the case of Mir Hossein Moussavi. After the events of Ashura last year, there has been no serious movement on the streets of Iran against the government. Even in cyberspace, supporters of the Green Movement have not been able to create the momentum needed to continue such a movement. This has gotten so bad that even Moussavi could not hide his dissatisfaction with the state of the opposition and criticized the depression and lack of movement of the opposition in his latest video message released in late fall.
Iran's Die-Hard Democrats
Are Iran's democratic stirrings truly a thing of the past? Ever since the so-called Green Movement coalesced in the wake of the country's fraudulent June 2009 presidential vote, Western observers have rushed to write its epitaph.
Over the past year, more than a few Iran watchers have argued that the internal contradictions within Iran's opposition movement doom it to failure and that, as a result, Washington has no alternative but to engage with Iran's ayatollahs. Similarly, some media outlets, in reporting the Green Movement's lackluster showing during Ashura celebrations in mid-December, have suggested that Iran's once-vibrant democracy drive has run out of gas. Still others have concluded that, at least when it comes to mobilization and mass protest, the Green Movement should now be considered largely defunct.
But is it? Unquestionably, the wave of opposition that swept over Iran in the summer of 2009 has receded significantly. Organizationally, Iranian democrats' lack of sustained leadership and the absence of a unifying common vision have served to undermine their long-term cohesion. Practically, these opposition activists gradually have been cowed into passivity by the widespread brutality of the regime's domestic militia, the Basij. Any yet, if the Iranian government's recent machinations are any indication, the powers-that-be in Tehran are far less certain than are Western foreign-policy experts that Iran's democratic impulses have withered on the vine.
Sweet Scent of Moderation
Massoud Behnoud (Rooz) | Jan 10
I have always wondered how do they know when is the best time to speak your heart. I wonder how did earlier reformers -- whose majority feel bound to their promises -- know when was the best time to raise issues with the public. I am in wonder which model of moderation and reform is seyed Mohammad Khatami following and therefore can't escape the worst timings. I am referring to his recent talk about the return to elections as the condition of the reformers.
"Even though you have been pressured, but you know best that you are at a dead-end. So I will show the way out so that you can rejoin the public without disgrace and stay with them, if you are wise." This is pretty much the meaning of the message that Mr. Khatami recent published. And the expected response was what Tehran's prosecutor put into words on behalf of the hardliners, the same response that ayatollah Janati personally presented, whose single sentence summarized hundreds for which he must be applauded. The wrong response, I have to unfortunately say, came from our reformist friend who appears to have realized the hard way that this is not the time for their words and that nobody will listen to them. It is clear that we were not prepared for this. And I wonder why we do not learn from our opponents who act so well and in unison. We too must learn to speak at the right time.
Mohammad Khatami's appropriate words that came from his heart a few days ago are also an opportunity for the sincere to ponder. His message should send the scent of good sense and goodwill across the land in which for over a year now a group has sacrificed its faith, principles, the regime, its values and its popularity simply because its selfishness prevents it from admitting its errors.
They do not wish to admin that through their mistakes a country that displayed happiness, laughter and creativity during the eight-year reform period, created Kahrizak prison, became internationally known as the land of hangings and stoning, sanctions, capitulations, etc. Today, blind mice are so intoxicated with celebration that hearts are filled with the fear of a plague. And all of this to avoid admitting a mistake. The political climate in Iran is today worse than its air pollution in Tehran.
Guardian Council Helps Ahmadinejad Expand His Power
Ashkan Parsa (insideIRAN) | Jan 10
Differences between the government and the parliament have intensified in recent months. These differences created such a crisis that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was forced to get involved in order to stop further conflicts between the branches of the government. About four months ago, Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the creation of a task-force composed of members of the parliament, members of the government, members of the Guardian Council, and a number of independent lawyers in order to address the differences between the administration and the parliament. Abbass-Ali Kadkhodaie, the spokesperson of the Guardian Council, announced the results of this task-force in a press conference, but his announcement faced criticism from parliamentarians who took part in the task force. Kadkhodaie said that the powers of the president and his cabinet were to be increased while the legislative branch was going to see its powers reduced significantly. This troubled and surprised many high-ranking parliamentarians.
Ali Larijani, speaker of the parliament, said that Kadkhodaie's comments only reflected the views of the Guardian Council and did not reflect the views of the task force. He also said that the Guardian Council's views have not satisfied the demands of the members of parliament. According to the Guardian Council, the president can take back his own legislation sent to the parliament even after a floor vote and ratification of the bill. The Guardian Council also deemed appropriate to give the president the right to warn and ask other branches of government about constitutional violations. Meanwhile, the constitutional rights of the parliament to question the president and members of his cabinet have been greatly reduced. In addition the Guardian Council sided with Ahmadinejad's administration and asked members of parliament not to pass bills that place a heavy financial burden on the administration.
According to the spokesperson of the Guardian Council, these so-called recommendations are supposed to be sent to the Supreme Leader for his final decision. Observers believe that the Supreme Leader is in a very tough place and is facing a very difficult decision. Since the government and the parliament are both dominated by conservatives, all of whom claim to be loyal to the supreme leader, favoring one over the other can seriously damage Ayatollah Khamenei's political influence.
Nuclear Iran a Falsehood
The United States makes false claims of nuclear weapon threats in other nations because US government officials and others do not understand nuclear materials' and weapons' production technology and are unwilling to rely on information from those who do. They also do not appreciate the importance of nuclear power to reduce use of fossil fuels. Virtually all information about nuclear weapons from US officials, news media and others is wrong.
Iran's plans and commitment for fully safeguarded nuclear power began in 1970 when the United States, then Iran's important ally, lost the ability to recover enough oil to meet demands. Leaders of both nations recognized that world ability to recover enough oil to meet world demands would be lost in a few decades unless there were major reductions in use. Iran signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, ordered five large nuclear power plants from US vendors and was promised (inappropriate) reprocessing technology by the US Department of State. The plans were interrupted when President Richard Nixon upheld the Atomic Energy Commission decision to deny promised technology. Iran cancelled the nuclear power plant orders with US vendors and ordered them from France and Germany, who agreed to supply needed technology.
The Islamic Revolution interrupted Iran's plans again, but not its recognition of the importance of nuclear power. Iran's first nuclear power plant, built with Russian help in the southern port city of Bushehr, is almost ready to begin operation
Because of the past denial of promised nuclear fuel cycle technology, Iran is understandably reluctant to rely on another nation for continuous supply of low enriched uranium needed for nuclear fuel.
Iran's leaders know that any action toward building a bomb would be quickly known by the world and justify a military attack on important nuclear power facilities. They also know that a nuclear weapon would be of no value for Iran's security or other interests and have clearly stated their intent not to build one.
To make a nuclear weapon, Iran would begin by diverting at least two tons of low enriched uranium hexaflouride gas from fully safeguarded, carefully measured inventories. Other nations would know about the diversion, which would be easily and quickly detected by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.
Obama and Clinton's Iran Strategy: More There than Meets the Eye?
David Rothkopf (Foreign Policy) | Jan 10
From its start, I have viewed the Iran sanctions regime the Obama administration has helped devise with great skepticism. However, if recent reports are to be believed, the sanctions may someday be seen in retrospect as a vital element of an effective strategy to curtail the Iranian nuclear program. In fact, the possibility is beginning to emerge that they could be seen as part of what may someday be seen as one of the signal triumphs of Obama-Clinton foreign policy.
My initial concerns about the sanctions program were several. First, it was my sense that such sanctions programs tend not to be terribly effective where authoritarian regimes are concerned. Next, sanctions tend not to be effective if they do not are not supported globally by all the economies interacting with the country facing sanctions. Third, in the case of these sanctions, the Russians and the Chinese carved out elements that protected important components of their own trade with Iran. Fourth, my sense is that the Iranians are engaged in a cat and mouse game with the international community in which they make a few seemingly constructive moves, even appear to make concessions, and then continue on with their nuclear development work behind the scenes.
My sense was also that international diplomatic and economic pressure would simply not be enough to really impede their program -- especially if the threat of the use of force to punish them if they did not back down was not credible. And the message from the administration was not tough enough on that last point.
However, when last week, the departing boss of Israel's intelligence service, Meir Dagan, stated that in his view the Iranian program had in fact been set back to the point that it would not be able to develop nuclear weapons until 2015 at the earliest, it suggested that whatever was being done was working.
DOCUMENTS & DECLARATIONS
Iran Prisoner List
Name (English): Emadeddin Baghi
Name (Farsi): عمادالدین باقی
Sentence: 7 years
Activity: Journalist, Human Rights Activist, Writer
Notes: Iranian author, journalist, and human rights activist. Baghi was previously imprisoned in connection with his exposé writings on the Chain murders of Iran, which occurred in Autumn 1998.
* 23 Dec 2009: Arrested on charges related to an interview with the late Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri
* Sustained severe injuries and weight loss in prison
* July 2010: Released on 200 million Toman bail
* Sentenced to a total of 7 years in prison and 5 years ban on civil activities
* 28 Dec 2010: Rearrested
Updated: 10/01/2011 04:14:29
The Indictment for the Abuses at Kahrizak Prison
A source forwards an English translation, posted on the opposition website Rah-e-Sabz on 5 January, of the Tehran military prosecutor's 27-page indictment against 12 alleged perpetrators of the post-election abuses and killings at the Kahrizak detention centre. The text is introduced with a lengthy analysis:
Eleven of the 12 accused who are charged with the crimes in this case are members of the armed forces and one person is a civilian, a hooligan who worked with the law enforcement forces. The highest ranking accused in this case is the commander of the Law Enforcement Forces in the Greater Tehran area (Brigadier General Azizollah Rajabzadeh).
The names of several high-ranking officials of the judiciary also appear in the indictment, but apparently these individuals who issued the orders (making the detainees subject to the conditions in the Kahrizak Detention Center) have not been officially acknowledged by this document as the accused. This indictment is only concerned with the doers of the crimes (individuals who have been physically responsible for the crimes) and has not been organizationally permitted to bring charges against the persons who have given the orders.
Another important point in relation to this indictment is that it is solely based on the complaints filed by the torture victims themselves and is not based on charges made by the prosecutor or the country's prosecutor general. The meaningful absence of the prosecutorial charge in this indictment means that the system has no complaints against the accused in this case, because the perpetrators acted on their duties and not as rogue elements in this case. Other documents have also come to the possession of Jaras (the Rah-e Sabz -- Green Path -- Movement) that will gradually be published.
Jaras calls on all the jurists and attorneys at law to review and assess the Kahrizak documents from a legal point of view. Kahrizak is the mirror that reflects adjudication and justice in the Islamic Republic (of Iran).
From the text of the indictment:
At the time of commitment to the Kahrizak Detention Center, all the accused must remove their clothing and become nude in full view of the others present and at times are forced to remain in that condition (remain unclothed) for a long period of time. Their undergarments are taken away from them and thrown away. Then, they are forced to wear their outer garments inside out.... The thugs and hooligans in the detention center would also walk around in a nude or semi-nude state among the detainees who were brought to the Kahrizak Detention Center as a result of the post-election incidents and would harass and assault them...
By the order of the higher-ups, the detention center officers buried one of the detainees in a hole in the ground up to his waist and battered him for 10 hours without giving him any food or water.... Even though it was summer time and the weather was unbearably hot, they divided the detainees who were sent to the Kahrizak Detention Center after the election into four groups and threw them into the cages (sic) that were specially made to contain thugs and hooligans...
According to the available documents, enough space did not even exist to allow the detainees to sit down, and most of the detainees had to spend all night standing up.... There were only two toilets available for all the persons kept in the detention camp. One of them was not working, and the other did not have a door. The detainees had to go everywhere barefooted, including the bathroom.... All the detainees developed infections in the eyes.... Constant assaults and beatings with the fists, kicks, beatings with PVC pipes, and other violent physical assaults on the detainees and the summer heat had caused many of the detainees who were arrested during the recent (i.e., post-election) incidents to lose consciousness and pass out...
It must be noted that, during the incidents that followed the 1388 (2009) presidential election in Iran, a large number of the detainees who were arrested during the protests on 18 Tir (9 July 2009) were sent to the terrifying Kahrizak Detention Center (situated in the south of Tehran) by the order of security officials and the officials of the judiciary such as Judge Sa'id Mortazavi, then the Prosecutor General of Tehran. There, the detainees were assaulted and tortured, and some of them lost their lives as a result of those tortures. The relevant authorities, including the then Prosecutor General of Tehran (Sa'id Mortazavi), claimed that those deaths were caused by "meningitis and illness", but those claims were strongly denied by the coroner's office.