Several people have been arrested in Iran following the death in detention of blogger Sattar Beheshti, whose case gained international attention and condemnation when it came to light.
Beheshti, who died on November 3 aged 35, had been openly critical of the Iranian regime in his writing online and was being detained on charges of “actions against national security on social networks.”
Tehran’s public prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said: “Yesterday (Monday), several people were arrested.” However, he failed to offer any details about the arrests.
"When we learned about (Beheshti's) death, we began an inquiry....We hope to make the findings public within the next 10 days," Dolatabadi he told the ISNA news agency.
The High Council of Human Rights said that “all aspects of the base have been accurately investigated following a special order by judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.”
Although the circumstances surrounding Beheshti’s death are unknown, it is beleived that he died while in detention and under torture. News of his death provoked international outrage, and Amnesty International said that he may have died while being tortured.
According to the judiciary, the blogger was detained in Evin prison, but opposition groups have claimed that he was kept at the Kahrizak prison since his arrest in October. The prison became notorious in 2009 when three inmates died as a result of mistreatment by guards and it was temporarily shut down by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
News of Beheshti’s death has reportedly also provoked outrage inside the regime, and conservative lawmaker, Mohammad Dehqan argued that it was avaidable.
“We would not have witnessed (Beheshti's death), if guilty agents and judges involved in the Kahrizak incident had been dealt with" by the judiciary, said Dehqan, who sits on the parliament's judicial commission and the residing board.
He also demanded an explanation from the police for its "treatment" of Beheshti, while questioning the force's "previous actions which had tarnished the regime's reputation."
In a session of Parliament, MP Ahmad Tavakoli asked: "Why do the foreign ministry and judiciary not explain this? A death has happened and it should be explained."
On Friday, US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: "We join the international community in demanding the Iranian government investigate this murder, hold accountable those responsible for Beheshti's arrest, torture and killing, and immediately cease all reported harassment of Beheshti's family."
Source: DCMF, AFP