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06 Oct 2009 18:07No Comments
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Photos of Kahrizak prison published by reformist website Mowjcamp.

Mortazavi: Prisoner overflow at Kahrizak cause of torture

Blog Watch: Mardomak | Oct. 6, 2009

Shortly before the Majlis truth-finding committee presents its report on the post-election unrest -- scheduled for Wednesday -- Parviz Sarvari, the panel's spokesman said that "the judge who ordered that the post-election detainees to be sent to the Kahrizak detention center made a grave mistake."

"All those who were responsible for the Kahrizak incidents, whoever they might be, must be held accountable," Sarvari added.

Earlier, police commander Ahmad-Reza Radan blamed the Kahrizak tragedy on errors made by a number of police officers.

Meanwhile former Tehran Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi claimed that the members of the truth-finding committee had not discussed Kahrizak with him.

Mortazavi denied detainee abuse and the lack of proper sanitation at Kahrizak despite the fact that the detention center was closed upon an order by Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei due to its sub-standard conditions.

A number of police officers were also arrested for their role in the crimes committed at Kahrizak.

In an interview with the pro-Ahmadinejad website Parcham, Mortazavi denied reports that he had exerted pressure to prevent the reading of the truth-finding committee's report in Majlis and that he had hindered the closure of the detention center after receiving the Leader's order.

Mortazavi further denied any physical assault on Kahrizak detainees. "Many of the incidents that took place at Kahrizak were the result of prisoner overflow," he was quoted as saying.

This is while earlier in the week the Princplist website Jahan News implicated Mortazavi as the man behind the tragic events of Kahrizak.

"Prisoners were sent to Kahrizak upon a direct, written order from the former chief of the judiciary and based on a decision of one judge. No other individual had the authority to dispatch prisoners there," the Jahan News report said.

The report further added that the judge in charge of the Kahrizak case hindered the execution of the closure order issued by Iran's supreme leader. One day after the second order from the leader was issued, he sent a number of Kahrizak detainees to Evin Prison. After officials at Evin refused to admit the detainees, three of them -- Mohsen Rouholamini, Amir Javadifar and Mohammad Kamrani -- died due to the severity of their injuries.

"Even the three individuals who died at Kahrizak had been injured during the riots when they were brought to the detention center," Mortazavi told Parcham. "Two were taken to the hospital and the third died on the way to hospital."

It should be noted that on August 31, 2009, the medical examiner attributed the cause of Rouholamini's death to 'physical stress, substandard detention conditions, repeated blows to the head and body with a blunt object' and rejected his death due to meningitis.

MP: 'Mortazavi's denial amazes me'

Sarmayeh | Oct. 6, 2009

Farhad Tajjari, a member of the Majlis truth-finding committee, expressed amazement over Saeed Mortazavi's denial of a discussion about Kahrizak with the panel. Until recently, Mortazavi was Tehran's Prosecutor General.

"I'm surprised that Mr. Mortazavi has said such a thing because in the meeting Mr. [Alaedin] Boroujerdi and I had with him, the forensic report on [Mohsen] Rouholamini was presented to him in his very own office and he himself offered some information on the issue," said Tajjari.

"In the meeting that the committee had with Saeed Mortazavi, he gave a report on post-election developments, detainee cases, circumstances under which they had been held, the nature of charges brought against them. In any case, I find it surprising that he [Mortazavi] feigned ignorance. Of course Mr. Mortazavi may have meant something else."

"I must also add here that Mr. Sarvari and Mr. Dehghan thoroughly inspected Kahrizak and in my opinion there was no need for them to go into detail about the center with the former Tehran prosecutor."

In an interview earlier with the pro-Ahmadinejad website, Parcham, Mortazavi was quoted as saying: "Mr. Tajjari and Mr. Boroujerdi spoke with us about the recent incidents and we explained everything to them. But even these two gentlemen did not broach the Kahrizak issue with us."

"The committee's report on the post-election incidents will be read out at Wednesday's Majlis session," Tajjari added.

Press Jury purged, 3 reformist newspapers shuttered by order of 'purged jury'

TEHRAN BUREAU | Oct. 6, 2009

On Saturday, Oct. 3, it was announced that the Press Jury has been purged. The Press Jury is a panel charged with monitoring the press, admonishing the media, and shutting down publications.

Four of its members, Masih Mohajeri (editor-in-chief of Islamic Republic, a conservative newspaper and critic of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), Habibollah Asgar Oladi (a leading member of the Islamic Coalition Party, who had a reputation for being relatively fair in the Jury), Hamid Ansari (a moderate), and Fatemeh Karroubi (Mehdi Karroubi's wife) had been dismissed. Immediately after this announcement, three reformist newspapers were ordered closed by the Press Jury!

Farhang-e Ashti (culture of reconciliation), a moderate newspaper close to
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; and Armaan (Ideal), a reformist newspaper,
were closed in Tehran. In Shiraz, the capital of the Fars province, Tahlil-e Rooz (the day's analysis), a popular reformist newspaper, was also closed.

Columnists at Tahlil-e Rooz were strong critics of the hardliners after the tainted June 12 presidential election. It published statements by Mehdi Karroubi that even Karroubi's own newspaper, Etemad-e Melli (national trust), was afraid to print. -- Muhammad Sahimi

Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Mohammad Dastgheyb responds to critics

TEHRAN BUREAU | Oct. 6, 2009

After Ayatollah Dastgheb criticized the hardliners in a recent session of the Assembly of Experts, the hardliners sought to dismiss him from the Assembly, and he came under harsh verbal attack by commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Today the ayatollah responded by saying on his site that this "outlawed" group (meaning the IRGC and Basij) is responsible for the events after the election, but is not willing to take the responsibility for its actions, and is acting against the teachings of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini [who had forbidden the military from intervening in politics]. -- Muhammad Sahimi

Families: Mohammad Maleki, Behzad Nabavi in deteriorating health

TEHRAN BUREAU | Oct. 6, 2009

The family of Dr. Mohammad Maleki, 76, a leading critic of the Islamic Republic and the first Chancellor of Tehran University after the 1979 Revolution, has expressed great concerns about the state of his health in detention.

Dr. Maleki suffers from severe health problems, including cancer, and was on heavy medication before his arrest. His family has expressed alarm over the fact that the hardliners holding him captive continue to ignore warnings from his doctors about the dangers of keeping a 76-year-old locked up.

Family, leading reformists, and the central committee of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO), were among those expressing great concern for the health of Behzad Nabavi, a senior IRMO member. Nabavi, 67, suffers from heart disease and has undergone open-heart surgery in the past. He has been transported to a military hospital. -- Muhammad Sahimi

Telling Criticism

Blog Watch: Balatarin

Javad Karimi Qodsi, a Majles deputy from Mashhad and supporter of Ahmadinejad, essentially confessed that Mir Hossein Mousavi Mousavi won the June 12 election when he criticized Ali Larijani, the Majles Speaker, and Mohammad Reza Bahonar, his deputy.

Qodsi said that Larijani had contacted Mousavi in the evening of the election to congratulate him for his victory, and that Bahonar had written a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that Mousavi would be the next president. -- Muhammad Sahimi

Demonstrations continue at universities

TEHRAN BUREAU | Oct. 6, 2009

Protests against the hardliners at leading universities in Tehran, such as the University of Tehran, Sharif and Amir Kabir, have spread to other universities around the country.

In Shiraz, students at Shiraz University staged large demonstrations prompting security forces from preventing any student from entering campus carrying any symbol that could be interpreted as support for the Green Movement.

In Qazvin, female university students staged demonstrations against the hardliners with shouts of Allah-o Akbar (God is great). -- Muhammad Sahimi

Click here for videos of protests at Azad University on Oct. 6.

Students protesting Haddad-Adel at Tehran University summoned

Tabnak | Oct. 5, 2009

Mohammad Qamsari, the student affairs deputy of Tehran University, said students who disrupted Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel's classes have been summoned to the University of Tehran disciplinary committee.

"The committee has been tasked with seeing to this case and I do not know if the committee will rule for their expulsion from school," he said.

"The disciplinary committee will investigate the issue but what the outcome will be is still unclear."

In response to a question about the number of students who have been summoned over the Haddad-Adel case, Qamsari said he had no official statistics. "The issue will be investigated based on reports from the scene of the incident."

Tehran prosecutor blocks release of Abtahi, Atrianfar

Tabnak | Oct. 5, 2009

The Tehran prosecutor's office has rejected reports that a number of post-election detainees have been released on bail.

"The release of the suspects will be subject to the rules of law. Should a decision be made in this respect, it will be announced accordingly," the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted the prosecutor's office.

Citing informed sources, IRNA on Sunday reported that 20 of the post-election detainees whose interrogation phase had been completed, including Mohammad Atrianfar, Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, Kian Tajbaksh and Saeed Shariati, would soon be released on bail.

Mohammad Qouchani's release postponed

Tabnak | Oct. 6, 2009

Farhad Tajjari, a member of the Majlis truth-finding committee, said Etemad-e Melli editor-in-chief Mohammad Qouchani's release has been delayed due to new evidence discovered in his case.

Tajjari, who serves as a deputy of the Majlis Judicial and Legal Commission, explained that the reason for the postponement of the release of a number of other post-election detainees was because the prosecutor had found new evidence in their cases as well.

He went on to say that the Prosecutors' Office would order the release of the defendants as soon as their cases were thoroughly investigated and closed. "Saeed Hajjarian's case is an example of this," he said.

In response to a question about the possibility of holding a public trial for the parties involved in the Kahrizak atrocities, Tajjari said, "It is up to the judge presiding over the case to make the trial public or to hold closed court sessions."

"A public hearing means that the defendants will be present in court. But making their [defendants] names public via media outlets or in a manner in which their identities are revealed is in violation of the law," he said.

Regarding the hospitalization of Mohsen Mirdamadi and Behzad Nabavi by Evin prison authorities, Tajjari said, "This is a normal thing because anyone can get sick [and need to be hospitalized]; therefore the [truth-finding] committee did not press the matter."

"However, if the families of these [two] defendants have any complaints, the truth-finding committee will look into the matter," he said.

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