[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

France calls for answers over Iranian's death

Activists say blogger Sattar Beheshti died in custody after being tortured for online criticism of Iran's government.
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2012 20:19
It is thought Beheshti was targeted for his writings on political and social issues on his blog and on Facebook [Kaleme]

France has called on the Iranian authorities to explain the death in custody of a blogger who, opposition activists say, was killed by torture for criticising the government on the internet.

A French foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday that Paris was "profoundly shocked" to have learned of the death in custody of 35-year-old Sattar Beheshti.

"We call on the Iranian authorities to shed as much light as possible on the circumstances of his death," the spokesman said.

"The repression of peacefully expressed dissident voices in Iran is unacceptable."

According to opposition groups, Beheshti's family were asked on Wednesday to collect his body from the Kahrizak detention centre in Tehran, where he had been held since being arrested on October 30.

In the last blog he wrote before his arrest, Beheshti had said he was being constantly harassed by telephone by members of the security services.

"Yesterday they threatened to tell my mother that she would soon be wearing black if I did not shut up," he wrote.

It is thought Beheshti was targeted for his writings on political and social issues on his blog and on Facebook.

Beheshti's family say they have been prevented from visiting his grave, with the exception of his brother-in-law.

Amnesty International (AI) has also called on the Iranian authorities to answer questions on Beheshti's death.

"Fears that Sattar Beheshti died as a result of torture in an Iranian detention facility, after apparently lodging a complaint about torture are very plausible, given Iran’s track record when it comes to deaths in custody," said Ann Harrison, AI's deputy Middle East and North Africa programme director.

276

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.