Three charged in Iran over deaths of political prisoners
An Iranian military court on Saturday charged three unidentified people with killing three political prisoners in a jail in southern Tehran, ISNA news agency reported.
The military prosecution office said in a statement carried by ISNA that the three political prisoners did not, as initially claimed by prison officials, die of meningitis but of severe beatings, dpa reported.
The statement said that a total of 12 prison officials would face prosecution over physical abuse of the post-election detainees.
It represents the first time that the government in Tehran has acknowledged the death of protesters who were detained in the Kahrizak prison after street demonstrations against the disputed re- election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June.
Some 4000 people, including students, dissidents, journalists and even former reformist officials, were arrested following street protests over alleged election fraud.
Whilst most were detained in the Evin prison in northern Tehran, some 200 were reportedly brought to Kahrizak.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered in July the closure of the Kahrizak due to lack of sufficient hygienic and other necessary standards for preserving detainees' rights.
The death toll from the street protests against Ahmadinejad is still unclear. According to the official toll, 30 demonstrators were killed, but opposition circles claim that at least 70 were killed, many of them in the Kahrizak prison.