Published in “Der Standard” (Austria) on December 19 2009

Following the presidential elections, at least three oppositionists were beaten to death in prison.

Tehran – For the first time, the Iranian judiciary admitted that after the disputed presidential election in June three opposition supporters were beaten to death in detention. Twelve officers of the Kahrizak detention center, which has meanwhile been closed down, were accused of premeditated murder, it says in a statement that was released in Tehran on Saturday.

Until now, Iranian authorities had been dismissing allegations that oppositional detainees had been mistreated. During the unrests that followed the disputed re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 30 people died, according to official announcements. The opposition, however, speaks of at least 72 deaths, and has denounced cases of mistreatment, such as torture and rape of detainees. (APA)

Published in German TV station ZDF’s news program “Heute”, December 19 2009
Source (German):,3672,7962883,00.html

12 watchmen have been accused, three of them of committing premeditated murder

Opposition members were beaten to death in Iran: This was now admitted by the Iranian judiciary for the first time. At least three people after their arrest during the unrest in June died from “abnormal treatment and physical punishment”.

According to an announcement that was spread in Tehran, twelve law enforcement officers of the now-closed Kahrizak prison have been accused in this case, three of them were charged with premeditated murder.

So far, Iranian authorities have been rejecting allegations that detainees affiliated with oppositional circles were abused. Initially, the three deceased had been officially diagnosed with meninigits. As reported on state TV, however, the statement released on Saturday says that the supreme coroner had ruled out meningitis, confirming that the dead bodies showed signs of repeated beatings. These wounds had finally led to the detainees’ death.

Following the controversial re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 12. June, protests took place in Tehran and other Iranian cities for weeks, during which several people were killed. The opposition speaks of at least 72 deaths, and has denounced cases of severe abuse, such as torture and rape of detainees. According to the authorities, only 30 people were killed.