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Iranian Court Dismisses President-Appointed Official

Source: RFE/RL

An Iranian court has fired a Labor Ministry official who has been linked to the deaths of prisoners. The decision, announced on July 30, by the Supreme Administrative Court comes after Iranian lawmakers filed a suit against Said Mortazavi, who was head of the social-security department at the Labor Ministry.

Former Tehran Prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi had taken the helm of biggest economic organization. Mortazavi was found responsible for the torture and death of election protesters at the infamous detention centre Kahrizak, according to the Parliamentary Committee report which investigated the post-election events.

The suit was filed by conservative lawmakers opposed to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who appointed Mortazavi to the post at the Labor Ministry last year.

Mortazavi was allegedly involved in the prosecution of several dissidents and in closing down pro-reform newspapers while he was Tehran's chief prosecutor.

He was also linked to several deaths, including that of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was arrested in 2003 for taking pictures outside a Tehran prison.

She later died in custody.

Based on reporting by ISNA, IRNA, AP, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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