Iranian prosecutor in torture death case of Canadian Zahra Kazemi jailed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Iranian prosecutor in torture death case of Canadian Zahra Kazemi jailed

In this Sunday, April 19, 2009 photo, former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, gestures, during a news conference, in Tehran, Iran. Mortazavi, a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been arrested, two years after a parliamentary probe found him responsible for deaths by torture of at least three jailed anti-government protesters, state media reported. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN, Iran - The former Iranian prosecutor who sent Canadian Zahra Kazemi to a notorious Tehran prison where she was tortured to death is now in prison himself.

Iran's Fars news agency reports Saeed Mortazavi was arrested this week and is being detained at Evin prison _ the same facility where Kazemi spent the last agonizing days of her life in 2003.

Tehran's chief prosecutor hasn't commented on Mortazavi's arrest, however, Fars reported it might be linked to allegations of torture and the deaths of prisoners following the controversial 2009 election that saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned to power as Iran's president.

Until January, Mortazavi headed Iran's social welfare organization but was removed under pressure from Iran's parliament.

Kazemi, who had dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship, was working as a freelance photo-journalist when she was arrested outside Evin prison where she'd been taking pictures of the wives of detainees.

Canada recalled its ambassador, calling Kazemi's killing a state-sanctioned murder, and last September Ottawa severed diplomatic ties with Iran, citing its alleged sponsorship of terrorism and fear for the safety of Canada's diplomats in Tehran.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also pledged that Canada would work through its allies to help three of its citizens still in Iranian prisons.

Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossen Derakhsan, 35, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his writings, which inspired other Iranian reform bloggers.

Toronto's Ghassemi-Shall, 43, who emigrated to Canada after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, currently faces a death sentence after being charged with espionage when he returned to visit family four years ago.

And Saeed Malekpour, a web programmer from Richmond Hill, Ont., is on death row after being charged with promoting pornographic websites. He says he was tortured into confessing to crimes.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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