Iran MP blames cyber police for blogger's death

AFP , Tuesday 27 Nov 2012

An Iranian parliamentarian slams the death of Sattar Beheshti, an anti-regime blogger who opposition activists say had been tortured to death while in detention

An Iranian MP has blamed the death in detention of blogger Sattar Beheshti on the country's cyber police, news agency Fars reported on Monday.

"The action taken by the judiciary in Beheshti's case was lawful, but the cyber police's infraction is indisputable," said Mehdi Davatgari, the parliament's special representative on the case.

Opposition activists say Beheshti, 35, was tortured to death after criticising Iran's regime in his blogs.

 He was found dead in his prison cell on November 3 after being arrested on October 30, chief prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie said last week. The blogger's fate provoked an international outcry, and human rights watchdog Amnesty International said he may have died under torture.

"Unfortunately, the cyber police officers kept the suspect without a court order in a detention facility for one night, which is completely illegal," Davatgari said.

"Despite the judges' order to take him to a legal detention center, the cyber police took him to their own detention facility," where Beheshti died, Davatgari said, calling for the "resignation or dismissal of the cyber police chief."

He also promised a comprehensive report on the case which will be presented to parliament next week. A Tehran court said on Thursday that Beheshti had died "probably from the impact of a strike to sensitive areas of his body, or from extreme psychological pressure." 

Tehran's public prosecutor on November 11 announced the arrest of several people and the opening of an inquiry into Beheshti's death.

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