Iran parliament to investigate blogger's death

Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:42am EST
 

By Yeganeh Torbati

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's parliament will investigate the death of a blogger in police custody, a lawmaker said on Sunday following international condemnation of the incident.

Sattar Beheshti was arrested in his home on October 30, rights groups reported, after receiving death threats. The 35-year-old who ran an anti-government blog died in custody, possibly as a result of torture, Amnesty International said in a statement last week.

Deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Hassan Abu-Torabi Fard said on Sunday a 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 failing to address 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 centre. The order was given because the centre could not preserve "the rights of detainees", said legislators at the time.   Continued...