Cartoon 54: Justice, Mortazavi Style
Three young men died. Dozens of others were abused psychologically, physically, and sexually in Kahrizak Detention Center, where they were sent because they protested the 2009 presidential election results.
More than three years after these events, three officials—former Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, Judge Hassan Zare Dehnavi, and Judge Ali Akbar Heydarifar—were put on trial for the deaths of the three young men, Mohammad Kamrani, Mohsen Rooholamini, and Amir Javadifar. Mortazavi was the prime suspect, charged with “participation in murder,” “participation in illegal detention,” and “participation in creating untrue reports through ordering or encouraging the related officers to write reports to himself,” while the other two were charged only with “participation in illegal detentions.”
Early on in the trial, Mortazavi entered the courtroom not through the main doors, nor any special defendant’s door, but rather through the judges’ door, flaunting his stature even though he himself was on trial. When Mortazavi was a judge for the Press Court and then the Tehran Prosecutor, he was infamous for handing out harsh sentences, including decades in prison and even death.
This month, Mortazavi, Zare Dehnavi, and Heydarifar received their own sentences: they were permanently dismissed from judicial positions, and further dismissed from government employment for five years. Saeed Mortazavi was acquitted of “participation in murder” and sentenced to approximately $60 in fines for “false reporting.”