Iranian Blogger Dies in Custody, Family Says

BEIRUT-A little-known blogger died in the custody of Iran's cyberpolice this week from what fellow detainees said was torture, the first time the force has been publicly accused of the death of a prisoner.
Iranian authorities have been silent about the reports of the blogger's death. Iran's mission to the United Nations didn't respond to questions and calls.
Satar Beheshti, a 35-year-old day laborer who blogged about the suffering of people around him and criticized the Islamic Republic and its government, was arrested by Iran's cyberpolice, known as the FTA, on Oct. 30, family members said. He was killed in FTA custody on Tuesday, according to his family and human-rights organizations.
Mr. Beheshti appeared to have suffered injuries from torture under interrogation, according to human-rights groups and political prisoners, who told opposition websites they saw him in a Tehran's Evin prison the day before he died.
While the FTA, created in January 2011, is known for using surveillance to battle online crime and dissent, other branches of Iran's security forces typically handle arrests and interrogation.
Political prisoners in Iran often disappear without being charged or put on trial...
The FTA was created in an effort to unite the various cyberpolice working for different Iranian entities-police, judiciary, Revolutionary Guards-under one umbrella. The FTA's mandate, as stated on its website, is to monitor Internet financial crimes, pornography, harassment and national security.
Mr. Beheshti filled out an official complaint in Evin prison against an interrogator, according to a copy of the complaint form published by the opposition website Kalame.
Human-rights organizations say a fellow prisoner or a warden guard leaked the complaint. 'I, Satar Beheshti, attest that I was arrested by FTA and beaten and tortured with multiple blows to my head and body…. I want to write that if anything happens to me, FTA police are responsible, ' the complaint on Kalame said.
Mr. Beheshti's death shocked Iranian opposition circles in part because he wasn't a known political activist. Only 10 people followed his posts, his blog said.
Mr. Beheshti, though not well-known as a blogger, has become the latest hero for Iran's pro-democracy movement.
Iranians were posting his picture as their profile photo on Facebook < symbol=FB> and his writings were being widely circulated this week.
‘We are saying that the burden of proof is on Iranian authorities, ' said Hadi Ghamei, director of the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 'The fact is that a healthy 35-year-old goes into interrogation and dies within a week and there are witnesses saying he suffered from injuries, ' he said.
Mr. Beheshti came from a poor, working-class family and supported his mother by doing construction and painting.
He lived in the slums of Robot Karim, a district in the southernmost part of Tehran. He never graduated from high school or attended college, his sister said, but he wrote eloquently about poverty, lack of freedom and the regime's brutal force.
In the last entry on his blog, a day before his arrest, Mr. Beheshti wrote that intelligence forces were threatening him with emails and calls.
‘They tell me close your big mouth. I said I only write what I hear and see. They tell me we will shut you up. No one will know what happened to you or where you went.
Tell your mother soon she will be wearing black. I tell them I have entered this struggle, either I will die or I will be free, ' the final item on Mr. Beheshti's blog reads.
FTA police raided Mr. Beheshti's house on Oct. 30, confiscated his laptop and writings and handcuffed him, according to his sister, Fatemeh Beheshti.
Ms. Beheshti told Iranian opposition websites and Voice of America's Persian Service that that was the last time the family saw him.
On Nov. 6, Ms. Beheshti's husband was summoned by security forces and notified that Mr. Behesthi died in custody. When he inquired why, he was slapped and told he wasn't the one asking questions, according to Ms. Beheshti.
‘My brother's only crime was that he saw and understood all the pain around him, ' said Ms. Beheshti.
Iranian authorities didn't give Mr. Beheshti's body to his family. A request for autopsy was rejected, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said.
Ebrahim Nekoo, the lawmaker for Mr. Beheshti's district, told an Iranian reporter that he would follow up on the case.

به گفته خانواده، بلاگر ایرانی در بازداشت درگذشت
سایت وال استریت ژورنال، 9نوامبر، 2012 - [10نوامبر روی سایت آمد] - بقلم فرناز فصیحی - بیروت - یک بلاگر گمنام در بازداشت نیروی پلیس سایبری ایران، این هفته به‌دلیل آن‌چه هم بندهای او گفتند زیر شکنجه کشته شد که این اولین بار است این نیرو به‌طور علنی متهم به مرگ یک زندانی شده است ... هیأت دیپلوماتیک ایرانی در ملل ‌متحد پاسخی به سؤالها و تلفنها ندادند...
ستار بهشتی 35ساله کارگر روزمزدی بود که درباره درد و رنج مردم پیرامونش می‌نوشت و جمهوری اسلامی و حکومت آن را مورد انتقاد قرار می‌داد توسط پلیس سایبری معروف به فتا (FTA) در 30اکتبر دستگیر شد.
وی روز سه‌شنبه در زندان فتا به گفته خانواده‌اش و سا زمانهای حقوق‌بشری کشته شد. وبسایتهای اپوزیسیون گفتند روز قبلش وی در زندان اوین دیده شده بود. فتا در ژانویه 2011 تأسیس شده است که به‌عنوان ابزار شناسایی جرایم اینترنتی شناخته می‌شود…
زندانیان سیاسی در ایران اغلب بدون این‌که متهم شوند یا محاکمه گردند ناپدید می‌شوند ...
آقای بهشتی گرچه یک بلاگر ناشناخته بود اما اکنون جدیدترین قهرمان جنبش حامی دموکراسی ایران شده است و نوشته‌های او به‌طور وسیعی این هفته منتشر شده است... (سایت وال استریت ژورنال- 21/8/1391)


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