Former Iran prosecutor acquitted of killing prisoners

Former Iran prosecutor acquitted of killing prisoners

[JURIST] Former Iranian prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was acquitted Wednesday of murder charges relating to the 2009 killing of three prisoners [JURIST report] which he oversaw. The prisoners were detained in 2009 for protesting against former President Mahmous Ahmedinejad’s [BBC profile] disputed re-election – an issue that drew significant global criticism aimed not only at Iran’s government, but also the treatment of those arrested following the election. Although Mortazavi was acquitted [AP report] of the murder charges, he was also found guilty, and sentenced to serve six months in prison, for unlawfully receiving a salary while illegally serving as the head of the social security fund. Mortazavi, on top of the prison sentence, will have to pay back said salary.

The Iranian government arrested hundreds in a crackdown on anti-government activity in the wake of protests over the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June of 2009, drawing criticism from international human rights groups and advocacy organizations. A Tehran Revolutionary Court [official website, in Persian] in April of 2010 sentenced [JURIST report] three prominent progressive activists to six years in prison in connection with protests. The men were high-ranking officials of the Islamic Iran Participation Front [party website, in Farsi], a pro-democracy reformist political party that supported opposition leader Mousavi in the disputed election. Iranian authorities jailed prominent Iranian journalist Mohammad Nourizad [JURIST report] on charges in April of 2010. Also, in March 2010 an Iranian appeals court upheld [JURIST report] the death sentence of 20-year-old student Mohammad Amin Valian, wok part in anti-government protests in December.