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Two female detainees in Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi's death case freed

Two women suspects, detained in connection with the death of Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi have been released after posting surety, a Tehran tribunal said in a statement Monday, IRNA reported.

The two unidentified women, who guarded Kazemi during her stay in jail, were released on the order of Tehran criminal court's interrogator in the case, the revolutionary tribunal said.

The two suspects were among five people who were arrested last month on the order of the public and revolutionary courts in connection with the death case.

The statement said that the interrogations from the remaining suspects were continuing.

Last month, the case was referred to the criminal court here for investigation after Tehran public and revolutionary courts as well as military court refused to handle it on the ground that it was outside their jurisdiction.

The 54-year-old journalist died here because of fractured skull.

An ad hoc committee, formed on President Mohammad Khatami's order, has said that Kazemi died after her skull was fractured either 'because a hard object hit her head or her head hit a hard object'.

The journalist, working for Canadian Camera Press journal, was arrested last month while illegally taking pictures from Evin prison in Tehran and whisked away to Information Ministry, where she felt unwell and was taken to hospital.

Several days later, she was pronounced dead from brain hemorrhage.

On Monday, Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh hoped that "the results of the investigation by the judiciary and the probable ruling issued will serve in such a way that the general conscience of the society feels at rest".

The official vowed that the government would do its best to bring the cause of the death to light, irrespective of whether any probable establishment, found guilty in the case, was affiliated to the government or other powers.

The journalist's death triggered a spat between Iranian and Canadian governments after Tehran rejected Ottawa's demand that her body be transferred to Canada.

Ottawa recalled its ambassador Philip MacKinnon, followed by Iran summoning Canadian charge d'affaires here, Gilles Poirier, in connection with the death of an Iranian national which was blamed on Canadian police in Vancouver.

Canadian police recently attacked three Iranian nationals in Vancouver, killing Keyvan Tabesh and injuring Amir Aqaie. The attack was met by a news blackout in Canada.

... Payvand News - 8/5/03 ... --

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