Iran prosecutor: Blogger died in police custody

The Associated Press reports: Iran’s state prosecutor confirmed Monday that a jailed blogger died in police custody last week and that wounds were found on his body, the first official confirmation of his death while being held.

The U.S. State Department and a press freedom group have called for investigation of the “suspicious death.”

The prosecutor’s statement came a day after Iran’s parliament announced it would probe reports on the circumstances of Sattar Beheshti’s death.

Prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi told reporters that Beheshti was detained Oct. 30 for alleged cybercrimes and taken to Evin prison in north Tehran the next day. Beheshti was handed over to cyber police for interrogation the same day, He died Nov. 3.

“The coroner’s office has provided a detailed report saying that signs of wounds were found in five places on this person’s body, including foot, hand, back and one of his thighs, but no broken bones,” the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Ejehi as saying.

Ejehi said a final report on the cause of Beheshti’s death may take as long as 45 days to release. He said copy of a letter of complaint in Beheshti’s name against his interrogator was found.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Ejehi as saying that Beheshti charged in the letter that he was subject to “threats, insults and beatings.”

Ejehi said Iran’s judiciary chief, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, has ordered a full inquiry into the death.

The government-owned Iran Network news website said three interrogators involved in the case have been arrested.

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