Police officer convicted in death of imprisoned Iranian blogger

New York, August 7, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today’s conviction of a police officer in the death of Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti and calls on Iranian authorities to disclose details of the investigation and trial. The police officer was given three years in jail, two years in exile, and 74 lashes for assaulting the blogger and insulting him, according to reports. Beheshti was arrested on October 30, 2012, and died in Evin Prison the next month.

“Iran jails journalists by the dozens in Evin Prison, which is notorious for its torture of detainees,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “While we welcome accountability in the death of Sattar Beheshti, the onus remains on Iran to come clean about the details of how he was killed. We hold the Islamic Republic of Iran responsible for the safety of all journalists jailed in the country.”

Iran is consistently one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists, according to CPJ research. In April, dozens of prisoners, including at least seven journalists, were injured by guards in Evin Prison, according to reports. At least two other journalists have died in that jail. Omidreza Mirsayafi died in March 2009. Prison officials said he had committed suicide, but Mirsayafi’s brother said the journalist’s body showed signs of abuse. Hoda Saber died in 2011 after suffering a heart attack. His family said that he died from lack of adequate medical care in the jail.