November 12, 2012

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Governments/Political Affairs Editor

On November 3rd 2012 an Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti was tortured and killed while in custody in the notorious Evin Prison. He was arrested on alleged charges of “action against national security on social networks and Facebook” on October 30th 2012. While in custody Mr. Beheshti had written an official letter of complaint stating that he had been subjected to torture while in custody.

Sayeh Hassan an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activists stated: “For 32 years the Islamic Regime has used systematic detention, torture and rape against political dissidents in an effort to silence any opposition against the Regime. The very tragic death of Mr. Beheshti is only one example of this type of state sponsored torture against political prisoners in Iran. We saw another such example in 2003 when Zahra Kazemi an Iranian Canadian journalist was tortured in the Evin prison and later on died while still in custody!”

Sayeh Hassan further stated that: “Even though Iran’s state prosecutor has admitted that Mr. Beheshti’s death occurred while he was in custody, and three (3) individuals have been arrested in relation to Mr. Beheshti’s death, these actions are completely meaningless and part of a “show” by the Regime to appease the International Community, and to ease the pressure Islamic Regime has received in the past week! Torture in Iran is systematic and approved by the Government; therefore the entire Government is responsible for torture, rape and death of each and every political prisoner. The International Community and specifically Canada should not accept the arrest of three “scapegoats” as sufficient for the death of Mr. Beheshti. The Canadian Government must hold the Islamic Regime responsible and accountable for this brutal act.

Sayeh Hassan expressed “ We must keep in mind that Iran has thousands of political prisoners and while we know the names and whereabouts of some of the better known prisoners, there are thousands of prisoners that we have very little or no information about. What we do know however is that political prisoners are subjected to systematic rape and torture in order to obtain confessions and to instill fear in the heart of the Iranian community, and prevent any uprising against the Regime. Canada must be alert to the fact that the entire Regime is responsible for all acts of torture and rape against political prisoners, and the Islamic Regime must be held accountable for its actions.”

Media Contact: Sayeh Hassan, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Blogger, Pro-Democracy Activist

Tel: 416-363-9238