Iran: Detainee died of beating

2009/08/31

Published in “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, August 31, 2009
Source: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/590/486010/text/

An opposition member was beaten to death in prison. Iran is announcing it will punish violence against protesters. Merkel and Sarkozy critizise the Iranian police.

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The son of a prominent opposition member who had died in prison, according to a media report has lost his life as a result of beatings.

As the semi-official news agency Mehr announced on Monday with reference to circles familiar with the matter, according to the forensic report Mohsen Rouholamini had undergone physical strains, repeated abuses and been hit on the head with a solid object, which resulted in his death. Official statements had reported that he had died of meningitis.

Mohsen Rouholamini is one of many who were arrested in the aftermath of the controversial presidential election in June. His father Abdolhossein Rouholamni was one of the advisors to the defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie.

Official reports say that at least 26 people have died during the riots. The opposition, however, talks of 69 deaths and accuses the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to have arrested thousands of protestors.

The government has also denied accusations of the opposition claiming that some of the detainees – men and women alike – had been subjected to rape and abuse.

On Sunday night, the spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced an investigation into the violence against anti-government protestors. The new Chief of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, has induced inquiries into the matter.

Meanwhile, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin condemned the actions of the Iranian security forces. “Europe must not close its eyes to that”, said Sarkozy. He expressed his respect for the opposition and for the Iranian people. “They deserve better leadership than those currently in charge.” Merkel said she was concerned about the fate of detained opposition members that was often brought to her attention by many Iranians.

She said, she and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had requested the German embassy in Tehran to pursue the cases. “We are doing all we can to achieve an improvement in this matter,” said Merkel.

(Reuters/segi)

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