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Iran high court hears appeal on reopening probe into Canadian journalist death

[JURIST] The Iranian Supreme Court held a hearing Sunday in the case of murdered Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] on an appeal of a lower court order that the case be reopened. Kazemi's family argued that there hasn't been an adequate investigation into her death and urged that the case be revisited. In addition to ordering the case to be reopened, an appeals court in 2005 upheld the acquittal [JURIST reports] of an intelligence agent accused of murdering Kazemi and Kazemi's family believes that Tehran chief prosecutor and Islamic Revolution tribunal judge Sa'id Mortazavi is the real culprit behind Kazemi's death.

Kazemi died in 2003 while under the custody of Iranian officials for photographing a demonstration outside a Tehran prison. She was allegedly tortured and raped [JURIST report] before dying under suspicious circumstances. Officials initially claimed Kazemi died from a stoke or a brain hemorrhage caused by a fall, but subsequent revelations indicate that Kazemi was severely beaten while in prison. Kazemi's family has supported the innocence of Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, the intelligence agent accused of Kazemi's murder, claiming that the government is covering up Mortazavi's involvement in her death. AFP has more.

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