In what may be the first admission that a prisoner died from abuse by Iranian prison authorities in the wake of post-election unrest, a semiofficial news service reported Monday that the son of an adviser to a prominent conservative politician had died of “physical stress, conditions of imprisonment, repeated blows and harsh physical treatment.”
The report, by the Mehr News Agency, quoted “informed sources” as saying the medical examiner had determined that Mohsen Ruholamini, 25, died of abuse and neglect after being held in the Kahrizak detention center and then being transferred to Evin prison under “unsuitable conditions.” He was one of hundreds of people arrested as mass protests swept major Iranian cities after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed a landslide victory in June, and one of dozens who died.
“As a result of his poor physical condition, at the end of the journey, and after a delay of 70 minutes in transferring him to hospital, he unfortunately died,” said the report by Mehr, which has close ties to conservatives. [continued…]
One of Iraq’s leading Shiite political parties moved quickly on Monday to fill the vacuum left by the death of its influential leader last week, nominating his son to take over a party now poised to challenge Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in national elections next year.
The nominee, Ammar al-Hakim, the scion of a respected political and religious family that fought Saddam Hussein’s government from exile and emerged as a political force after its fall, was widely expected to take over the party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.
His father, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who died of cancer in Tehran last week, provided for the succession in his will, heading off any potential leadership challenges. The party’s television network announced the nomination, and a spokesman said it would be ratified by the party’s leadership on Tuesday. [continued…]