Tuesday, May 26
Latest News
  1. Washington Post reporter stands trial in Iran for spying
  2. Austrian 14-year-old jailed on 'terrorism' charges
  3. Saudi beheads 88th person, exceeding last year's total
  4. Charter buys US giant Time Warner Cable in $78.7 billion deal
  5. Diplomat: France suspends security cooperation with Burundi
  6. Libya tribal chiefs meet in Cairo peace initiative
  7. Alleged UAE killer of American 'aware of her actions'
  8. Britain and Russia agree to resume talks on Syria
  9. Fierce fighting in Yemen as peace hopes fade
  10. Russia, Iran talks on S-300 missiles end in 'success'
  11. Washington Post reporter stands trial in Iran for spying
  12. Iran denies agreement on military site inspections
  13. Saudi Shiites prepare mass funeral for bombing victims
  14. Fierce fighting in Yemen as peace hopes fade
  15. Israel ex-PM Olmert sentenced to 8 months for corruption
  16. Iraq PM rebuts US criticism of security forces
  17. Syria regime 'launches 15 air raids around Palmyra'
  18. 'Beautiful Mind' mathematician John Nash killed in US car crash
  19. Report: Malaysia home minister says mass graves found
  20. Pentagon says Iraqi forces 'failed to fight' in Ramadi

Iran parliament to investigate blogger's death

Nov. 11, 2012 12:47 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 12, 2012 7:12 P.M.)
By: Yeganeh Torbati
DUBAI (Reuters) -- A parliamentary committee will look into the death of an Iranian blogger in police custody, an Iranian lawmaker said on Sunday, following international condemnation of the incident.

Sattar Beheshti, 35, was arrested in his home on October 30, rights groups said, after receiving death threats due to his anti-government blog. He died in custody, possibly as a result of torture, Amnesty International said in a statement last week.

On Sunday, deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Hassan Abu-Torabi Fard said a special committee would investigate Beheshti's death, according to the Mehr news agency.

"The national security and foreign policy committee of Parliament has investigated this topic and has formed a committee in this regard," Abu-Torabi Fard was quoted as saying by Mehr.

Conservative and outspoken lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli, who represents Tehran, criticized Iran's judiciary for being silent on Beheshti's death.

"I recommend that instead of dealing harshly with bloggers, you go after corrupt officials," Tavakoli said, according to Mehr.

Iran has rejected criticism of its human rights record in the past as political and motivated by Western opposition to the Islamic Republic. But its leadership has taken action on other allegations of mistreatment of prisoners.

In 2009, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the closure of the notorious Kahrizak detention center. The order was given because the centre could not preserve "the rights of detainees", said legislators at the time.

Media is tightly controlled in Iran and blogging has become one of the few outlets - albeit a risky one - for criticizing the state.

Iran clamped down on dissent after mass protests against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. Iranian authorities have acknowledged three people arrested in the post-election unrest were killed in custody.

Beheshti's family initially gave interviews to media outlets on the circumstances of his arrest, but the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said on Thursday it had not been able to contact them in recent days and believed the family had been ordered by authorities to keep silent.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Friday Iran must immediately explain Beheshti's sudden death, and that the government must "halt its intense harassment of the victim's family."

The day before his arrest, Beheshti said he had been threatened.

"They sent me a message saying, 'Tell your mother she will soon be wearing black because you don't shut your big mouth,'" Amnesty quoted him as saying.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015