Witness of torture in Iran was possibly murdered

2009/11/20

Published in “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on November 20, 2009
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/65W38e/3154956/Folter-Zeuge-in-Iran-womoeglich-ermordet.html

Cairo – An Iranian physician who had witnessed torture of opposition supporters in prisons has possibly been murdered. After Ramin Pouranjani [sic, correct name will be used in the rest of the translation] had made it public that he saw dead and injured torture victims in Tehran’s Kahrizak detention center, it is now claimed that he committed suicide. As reported by relatives and oppositional media, the explanations provided for the death of the 26 year old physician are contradictory. Initially, officials spoke of a car accident. After that, both intoxication and heart failure had been claimed to have caused his death. Finally, there was talk about suicide. His family has not seen the dead body, and there has been no autopsy, according to oppositional internet sites. The Judiciary now announced that the case is being investigated.

Previously, Pourandarjani had revealed to a parliamentary committee of investigation that he had been forced to forge the death certificate of a torture victim. The cases of death and alleged torture of several opposition supporters detained after the demonstrations against the presidential elections in June had caused an outcry from oppositional and conservative circles. Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi had denounced cases of detainees being raped; revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released order to close the Kahrizak detention center. Later, the government stated that there had been no cases of rape, and the Mehdi Karroubi would be called to account by the Judiciary. Human rights activists have been routinely denouncing torture in Iran for decades.ave

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