Family of Blogger Killed in Custody Insists on Murder Charges
The family of Sattar Beheshti, the blogger who died under torture by his prison interrogator, is refusing to participate further in the court proceedings against his killer, Giti Pourfazel, the lawyer representing Sattar’s family, said in an interview, in protest against the charge of “unintentional murder” brought against the interrogator who caused his death. The family believes the perpetrator should be tried for murder.
“We do not accept the prosecution’s contention that the murder was unintentional,” Giti Pourfazel told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “We will no longer pursue this case and the judge can issue whatever verdict he wishes.”
Pourfazel insisted that as far as the family is concerned, Sattar’s death in police custody should have been treated as an intentional act of murder, not unintentional.
Sattar Beheshti, 35, a laborer and blogger, was arrested on October 30, 2012, by Iran’s Cyber Police and died under torture by his interrogator on November 3, 2012. His body was buried at Robat Karim Cemetery near where he lived.
“From day one I have told Sattar’s family that they should not keep their hopes up because the accused is an interrogator who is part of the same system that is putting him on trial,” Pourfazel said. “I told them this case will have the same fate as similar cases in the past. It is likely that we will not get the result we want.”
According to the Medical Examiner’s report, Sattar Beheshti died of blows to the head and internal bleeding, which means he was tortured and therefore his death was deliberate, the family lawyer added.