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Iran judicial officials suspended over detained protester deaths

A military court in Iran has ordered the suspension of three top judiciary officials in connection with last year's torture deaths of three detained protesters, the Mehr News Agency [official website, in Persian] reported Monday. The three victims, Mohammad Kamrani, Amir Javadi-far and Mohsen Ruholamini, were tortured and beaten to death at the Kahrizak detention center after being arrested during anti-government protests that followed last year's disputed presidential election [JURIST news archive]. According to an anonymous source, three unidentified officials at the Tehran prosecutor's office have been suspended and stripped of their judicial immunity after a lengthy investigation into the case. The move clears the way for the three officials to face trial.

A previous Iranian parliamentary inquiry had determined Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was responsible [JURIST report] for the deaths, but he has yet to be formally charged with any crime. In June of this year, an Iranian military court sentenced two men to death [JURIST report] by hanging for the killings. Nine others were sentenced to prison terms, and one suspect was acquitted. The defendants, whose trial began [JURIST report] in March, included of 11 policemen and one civilian. Observers have accused the Iranian government of conducting the trial as a mere political move.

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