Iran admits: Oppositionists were beaten to death

2009/12/19

Published in German TV station ZDF’s news program “Heute”, December 19 2009
Source (German): http://www.heute.de/ZDFheute/inhalt/3/0,3672,7962883,00.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.

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