Source: Tehran Times
The Tehran branch of Iran's cyber police, known as FATA, is responsible for the death of Sattar Beheshti, an Iranian blogger who died in custody on November 3, 2012, a parliamentary report said on Sunday.
The report, which had been prepared by a special committee established on November 12, 2012, by the National Security Subcommittee to investigate Beheshti's death, was read out during an open session of the Majlis.
Beheshti had been charged with spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic system, insulting the values of the system, and making efforts to act against national security.
According to the parliamentary probe, the arrest of the blogger on October 30, 2012, and his detention as a result of the fact that he could not put up bail were lawful, and Beheshti had accepted the charges against him.
It was mentioned in the report that Tehran cyber police officers, who had a warrant, arrested Beheshti at his home in Robat Karim in southwest of Tehran.
Beheshti was transferred to Tehran's Evin Prison on October 31, 2012.
According to a judicial order, he had to be transferred to the Tehran Police's detention center, which is under the supervision of the state prison organization, but the Tehran cyber police decided to place him in its own detention on November 1, 2012, without any permit in a place that did not meet the minimum standards, including having closed-circuit cameras, and Beheshti remained there until his death without having been questioned.
And this is why the Tehran cyber police chief, Colonel Mohammad Hassan Shokrian, was removed from his post on December 1, 2012.
According to the report, Shokrian had failed to properly supervise his personnel's treatment of the blogger.
The parliamentary report also cited a Forensic Medicine Organization as saying that bruises could be seen on the blogger's shoulder, legs, and back, and that no trace of poisoning was found.
It also said that according to the latest report by the Forensic Medicine Organization issued on November 20, 2012, the exact cause of death cannot be established, but he most probably died as a result of shock.
According to the parliamentary probe, there was no legal justification for subjecting Beheshti to "physical and psychological pressure," and three Tehran cyber police officers are under arrest in this regard.
At the end of the report, the parliamentary committee called on the relevant bodies, particularly the Judiciary, to seriously deal with those involved in the death and take the measures necessary to prevent similar incidents.
It also called on the National Police to issue a by-law obliging affiliated bodies to detain suspects only at centers that are under the supervision of the state prison organization.
It also said that authorities of all detention centers must equip the centers with closed-circuit cameras and regularly check on detained individuals.
In addition, the report called on prosecutor generals across the country to closely inspect detention centers that are under their supervision.
After the report was read out, MP Ali Motahhari criticized part of the report concerning Beheshti's arrest, and said, "In the meeting that I had with Beheshti's family, his mother and sister said, 'When the officers came to arrest Sattar Beheshti, they did not have any warrant, and when we asked them to show the warrant, they pulled out their guns and entered our house by force.'"
"This part of the report must be revised," he stated.
However, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said that the report cannot be changed based on the accounts of Beheshti's family because the report has been prepared in coordination with police and has been approved by the chairman of the National Security Subcommittee.
In addition, MP Mohammad Reza Tabesh expressed criticism, saying that a paragraph of the report had been removed.
He also asked why the reading out of the report had been delayed several times.
Mother of Sattar Beheshti (2nd from left) among Laleh Mothers
The Mourning Mothers are a group of Iranian women whose spouses or children were killed by government agents in the protests following the disputed Iranian presidential election of 2009. The principal demand of the Mourning Mothers is government accountability for the deaths, arrests, and disappearances of their children. The mothers meet on Saturdays in Laleh Park in Tehran, and are often chased by the police and arrested.
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