A life of Crime: From Kazemi to Kahrizak

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JULY 15, 2013 – Four years ago in July numerous detainees were sexually assaulted, tortured, and even killed as a result of beatings in Kahrizak, a prison in Iran that is operated by the police department. According to reports, detainees were stripped naked and beaten and forced to sleep at night while standing. They were reportedly also forced to crawl on their knees in the prison yard while carrying other prisoners on their backs. According to reports, prison guards threatened to beat the prisoners who failed to follow instructions.

In July 2009, Hashemi Shahroudi, member of the Guardian Council and former head of the Iranian Judiciary, mentioned Saeed Mortazavi as the person who had ordered the transfer of detainees to Kahrizak Prison.

Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran Public Prosecutor, is widely known for ordering the arrests and detention of students, journalists, human rights defenders, political activists, and protesters. He also ordered the closure of many media print and online publications in Iran and led the crackdown by the Islamic Republic’s morality police on women for “improper” hijab.

His official government post holds him responsible for issuing criminal charges to many prominent journalists, human rights defenders, political activists, and student protestors. He has been personally involved in conducting interrogations, threatening detainees, coercing false confessions, and also ordering the physical torture of detainees which resulted in their deaths.

This July Justice for Iran (JFI) urges the global community to react to the abuses and injustices against victims in Iran, in particular Zahra Kazemi and the unknown number of victims in Kahrizak. They all share the same month anniversary of death and their families are united in their grief for their loved ones. JFI calls on world officials to consider that the families of victims of Mortazavi’s crimes are under immense pressure from the Islamic Republic regime and require international support to help them obtain justice.

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