An Iranian parliamentary inquiry has found that Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was responsible for the deaths of at least three detainees involved in protests that followed the June 12 presidential election, the conservative Alef website reported Jan. 6. The report alleges that Mortazavi, the prosecutor responsible for overseeing the Kahrizak prison, ordered that the prisoners be transferred to Kahrizak, where they were tortured and beaten to death.
The Iranian government announced last month that murder charges had been brought against 12 Kahrizak prison officials in connection with the deaths. The Iranian government acknowledged in August that the detainees had been tortured, yet initially claimed that the three men had died from meningitis. The prison coroner later found that the physical abuse was the sole cause of death for all three prisoners. Critics assert that the charges are merely a political move by the Iranian government to “scapegoat” lower officials. (Jurist, Jan. 6; CNN, Dec. 19)