Iran impeaches labor minister over repression

The Iranian Parliament on Feb. 3 voted 192-56 to impeach the country’s labor minister, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, because he appointed an official who was implicated in the deaths of anti-government prisoners in 2010. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that this constituted an abuse of power by parliament speaker Ali Larijana. Larijana is the leader of the conservative party in the parliament, which has been in a power struggle against Ahmadinejad. Lawmakers sought to impeach Sheikholeslami after he appointed former chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to the head of the Social Security Organization. Mortazavi had been suspended from his post as chief prosecutor in 2010 after a parliamentary inquiry found that he was responsible for the deaths of three prisoners who were arrested during anti-government protests after the country’s disputed presidential election.

From Jurist, Feb. 3. Used with permission.

See our last post on Iran’s civil opposition.

  1. Former Iran prosecutor acquitted of killing prisoners

    Former Iranian prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was acquitted Aug. 19 of murder charges relating to the 2009 killing of three prisoners which he oversaw. The prisoners were detained in 2009 for protesting against former President Mahmous Ahmedinejad's disputed re-election. Although Mortazavi was acquitted of the murder charges, he was also found guilty, and sentenced to serve six months in prison, for unlawfully receiving a salary while illegally serving as the head of the social security fund. Mortazavi, on top of the prison sentence, will have to pay back said salary. (Jurist, Aug. 20)