Mortazavi Found Responsible in Kahrizak Tragedy

Jan 7, 20100 comments

A special commission of the Iranian Parliament formed to investigate the events of Kahrizak Detention Center submitted its final report on Sunday which was unanimously approved. The Commission made several visits to different police detention centers and conducted various interviews with police authorities, detainees, and judicial authorities prior to compiling the report which was submitted last Wednesday. According to Alef, a Web site run by the conservative MP Ahmad Tavakoli, the Parliament’s investigative commission found Saeed Mortazavi, former Tehran Prosecutor who had been appointed by former Head of Judiciary to monitor Kahrizak facility, to be the primary person responsible. Even so, it is upon the Judges Court to determine whether he is legally at fault or not. In fact the dissemination of news of Mortazavi’s responsibility in the Kahrizak fiasco is the act of those who are concerned that Mortazavi may be exonerated from the charges through high level influence on the judiciary. They believe announcing his name would put pressure on the Judiciary to introduce the person at fault. The report reflects that the order to send those detained on July 9, 2009 to Kahrizak facility was issued by Mortazavi himself. The violent treatment of the detainees by officers, the sub-standard hygiene of the facility, and physical abuse of the prisoners by authorities and criminal cellmates under orders from prison authorities caused deaths of three young detainees, Mohsen Rooholamini, Amir Javadifar, and Mohammad Kamrani. The Armed Forces Judiciary issued a statement on December 18, 2009, announcing the cause of death of three Kahrizak detainees as first degree murder through beatings and injuries, stating that 12 suspects in the case had been found guilty. Saeed Mortazavi had also directly threatened those who had been sexually abused in prison, saying that if they spoke up about this matter they could face serious life threats. Several sources told International Human Rights Campaign that Saeed Mortazavi was the one who designed and implemented the forced confessions project after the elections. According to these sources, removal of Saeed Mortazavi from his position as Prosecutor was due to protests by some conservative officials who thought he had to be accountable for his actions after the elections. He was first promoted from Tehran Prosecutor’s position to Deputy Prosecutor General and later, upon a request from the executive branch, he was finally moved from the Judiciary to head a government body tasked with fighting smuggling of goods and foreign exchange.