Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments

“Iran has been accused of torturing to death a blogger who was arrested last week for criticising the Islamic republic on Facebook […] Kaleme, a news website close to the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, was the first to report the blogger's death. Iran's state media have largely refrained from reporting on Beheshti's case but the site Baztab, affiliated to Mohsen Rezaei, a former senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard, confirmed his death. "Sattar Beheshti, who was arrested by Fata [cyber] police, has died while being interrogated," Baztab reported. Before his arrest, Beheshti had complained on his blog of being threatened by the authorities. "They threatened me yesterday that my mother would wear black because I don't shut my mouth," he wrote. Beheshti had been arrested previously for his activism.” (Source)

Facts:

  • At least three credible domestic/international news sources, including The Guardian, have reported that:
  • Sattar Beheshti, an Iranian blogger, was arrested by cyber security police in November 2012.
  • Beheshti died while in police custody.
  • He had been arrested previously on charges related to his activism.

Claims:

  • Beheshti was arrested for his Facebook activities and was accused of criticizing the Islamic Republic.
  • He died while being interrogated (a claim made by a site affiliated to a former senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard.)
  • Prior to his arrest, the authorities threatened Beheshti’s life, warning him to stop speaking out on the Internet (a claim made by Sattar Beheshti on his blog).
  • Beheshti was tortured (a claim made by the opposition website Kaleme).