Posted by: bahareiran | November 22, 2012

Iranian Blogger Dies under Torture


BEIRUT-A little-known blogger died in the custody of Iran’s cyberpolice this week from what fellow detainees said was torture, the first time the force has been publicly accused of the death of a prisoner.

Iranian authorities have been silent about the reports of the blogger’s death. Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t respond to questions and calls.

Satar Beheshti, a 35-year-old day laborer who blogged about the suffering of people around him and criticized the Islamic Republic and its government, was arrested by Iran’s cyberpolice, known as the FTA, on Oct. 30, family members said. He was killed in FTA custody on Tuesday, according to his family and human-rights organizations.

Mr. Beheshti appeared to have suffered injuries from torture under interrogation, according to human-rights groups and political prisoners, who told opposition websites they saw him in a Tehran’s Evin prison the day before he died.

While the FTA, created in January 2011, is known for using surveillance to battle online crime and dissent, other branches of Iran’s security forces typically handle arrests and interrogation.

Political prisoners in Iran often disappear without being charged or put on trial…

The FTA was created in an effort to unite the various cyberpolice working for different Iranian entities-police, judiciary, Revolutionary Guards-under one umbrella. The FTA’s mandate, as stated on its website, is to monitor Internet financial crimes, pornography, harassment and national security.

Mr. Beheshti filled out an official complaint in Evin prison against an interrogator, according to a copy of the complaint form published by the opposition website Kalame.

Human-rights organizations say a fellow prisoner or a warden guard leaked the complaint. ‘I, Satar Beheshti, attest that I was arrested by FTA and beaten and tortured with multiple blows to my head and body…. I want to write that if anything happens to me, FTA police are responsible, ‘ the complaint on Kalame said.

Mr. Beheshti’s death shocked Iranian opposition circles in part because he wasn’t a known political activist. Only 10 people followed his posts, his blog said.

Mr. Beheshti, though not well-known as a blogger, has become the latest hero for Iran’s pro-democracy movement.

Mr. Beheshti came from a poor, working-class family and supported his mother by doing construction and painting.

He lived in the slums of Robot Karim, a district in the southernmost part of Tehran. He never graduated from high school or attended college, his sister said, but he wrote eloquently about poverty, lack of freedom and the regime’s brutal force.

In the last entry on his blog, a day before his arrest, Mr. Beheshti wrote that intelligence forces were threatening him with emails and calls.

‘They tell me close your big mouth. I said I only write what I hear and see. They tell me we will shut you up. No one will know what happened to you or where you went.

Tell your mother soon she will be wearing black. I tell them I have entered this struggle, either I will die or I will be free, ‘ the final item on Mr. Beheshti’s blog reads.

Iranian authorities didn’t give Mr. Beheshti’s body to his family. A request for autopsy was rejected, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said.

(WSJ – Nov. 11, 2012)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: