Iranian lawmakers demand inquiry into deaths of anti-regime protesters

Iranian MPs are calling for an independent inquiry into the mysterious deaths of anti-government protesters while in custody.

By Margot Dudkevitch, World Israel News

At least five Iranian protesters died in custody after they were arrested by authorities in the latest round of anti-government protests that swept the Islamic Republic last month.

Iranian Member of Parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi said approximately 3,700 protesters were arrested by security forces during the demonstrations that lasted several weeks. Writing on his Twitter account, Sadeghi said one of the detained protesters died in custody after being forced, along with other prisoners, to take pills that they said made them sick.

Sadeghi, who said he received details from the detainee’s relatives but did not reveal the person’s identity, joined 40 other lawmakers in submitting a letter to the Speaker of the Parliament, demanding an independent inquiry be launched to investigate the deaths.

An organization in charge of Iranian detainees reportedly denied the claims, the semi-officials Fars news agency said.

The names of some of the detainees from the protests were released by Iranian media, the The Guardian reported. They include Sina Ghanbari, 23, whom the authorities claim committed suicide while held in Tehran’s Evin prison; Saro Ghahramani, 24, whose body was handed over to relatives 11 days after he disappeared during anti-government protests, and Mohammed Heydari, 22, whom authorities claim committed suicide while being held at a police station in Arak.

Former President Mohammad Khatami said all the political institutions in the country should share the blame for the public discontent.