Doctor says photojournalist killed in Iranian detention was tortured, raped

Doctor says photojournalist killed in Iranian detention was tortured, raped

[JURIST] According to Iranian doctor Shahram Azam, Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder] was tortured and raped during her detention by Iranian authorities before her death in July 2003. The claims by Dr. Azam [Globe and Mail report] contradict the conclusions of Iranian authorities who said the death could have been accidental. Aazam said he was the first doctor to examine Kazemi after she was taken to a Tehran hospital following her arrest for taking photographs of a demonstration in front of a prison. Azam, who was later granted asylum in Canada, said Kazemi's entire body had strange markings and described massive bruising around her head and ears, and a fractured skull. Iran's government admitted Kazemi was beaten but maintains the death was accidental. The Iranian security agent charged with killing her was acquitted [JURIST report]. Azam is attempting to refocus attention on the case in hopes it will lead to the indictment of the Iranian government. The Toronto Globe and Mail has more.