NewsSpecial WireRights group blasts death of student in Iran prison

Rights group blasts death of student in Iran prison

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Iran Focus: London, Aug. 02 – A prominent international human rights organisation called on Iran to put an end to torture and ill-treatment in its prisons. Iran Focus

London, Aug. 02 – A prominent international human rights organisation called on Iran to put an end to torture and ill-treatment in its prisons.

Amnesty International released a statement on Tuesday over the death earlier this week of student activist Akbar Mohammadi in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.

The death in custody of Mohammadi, a 38-year-old former student, on Sunday cast a pall over the entire Iranian justice system, Amnesty said.

“The series of failures to afford Akbar Mohammadi justice have robbed him of his life and his family of human dignity. There can be no more deaths in Iranian custody. A thorough reform of the criminal justice system is urgently needed”, the group said.

“The Iranian authorities need to take urgent measures to ensure that political prisoners are afforded a fair and open trial; that torture and other ill-treatment in Iranian prisons is halted and that the practice of delaying or denying medical care is stopped immediately”, the statement said.

The group said it was alarmed at reports indicating that following an inspection of Mohammadi’s detention conditions by senior officials he was administered a drug which may have resulted not only in his tranquillisation but possibly, as a result of a complication, his death.

It called for independent investigation and autopsy by fully independent pathologists to determine the cause of Mohammadi’s death and the conditions that facilitated it.

Amnesty also expressed concern that political prisoners Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Ahmad Batebi and Akbar Mohammadi’s brother Manuchehr were facing heightened risk following the latest death in custody.

Separately, the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance (NCRI) issued a statement holding the “mullahs’ henchmen fully responsible” for Mohammadi’s death. “On Sunday, a number of prison guards tied him up, taped his mouth and tortured him”, it said.

“Killing dissidents and prisoners is common practice by the mullahs’ regime. This is a medieval regime which has executed more than 120,000 political prisoners in its dreadful dungeons and torture chambers”, the NCRI statement said.

Mohammadi was arrested and given 15 years in prison in the course of nationwide student-led protests against the government in July 1999.

He died on the ninth day of his hunger strike. A week after beginning the protest, he refused to take liquids.

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