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Tehran Detention Center Doctor's Death Arouses Suspicions

Mehdi Karrubi (center) has led calls for the complaints of the rape of prisoners detained in the demonstrations following the election to be investigated.

Mehdi Karrubi (center) has led calls for the complaints of the rape of prisoners detained in the demonstrations following the election to be investigated.

"Tagheer," the website of reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi's Etemad Melli party, reported over the weekend that a physician resident at the Kahrizak detention center has committed suicide. "Tagheer" identified the physician as Ramin Purazdjani, but another reformist website,, gave his name as Ramin Pourandarjani.

"Tagheer" said that 26-year-old Purazdjani committed suicide following the revelation of events at the detention center that is being described by the opposition as "Iran's Guantanamo."

Several people who have been arrested since the June presidential election who were held at Kahrizak have reportedly said that they were tortured and raped. At least two detainees, including the son of a conservative official, Mohsen Ruholamini, are reported to have died as a result of abuse there., which is close to the reformist Mosharekat party, whose senior members have been jailed in the postelection crackdown, reported that the physician examined Ruholamini two days before his death.

According to the report, Dr. Pourandarjani died on November 10 in his room at a police clinic in Tehran.

"Norooz" said that Pourandarjani was arrested following Ruholamini's death and pressured to announce that he died of meningitis. Following the issuing of the coroner's report that Ruholamini died from repeated blows to the head, he was released on bail.

"Norooz" also reported that Pourandarjani was threatened on a number of occasions by "unknown persons " not to reveal the truth about the involvement of "senior military and judiciary officials" at Kahrizak.

The reports adds that Pourandarjani recounted the events at Kahrizak to a few of his friends and expressed concern for his own safety. Shortly afterward, his sudden death was announced.

Officials have reportedly said that he died from a heart attack. But "Norooz" reported that the authorities did not allow the family to perform an autopsy and that his funeral was held under tight security measures.

The father of the dead physician told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that his son did not suffer from any disease. He said the authorities have yet to notify him of the cause of his son's death.

The "Mowj" website has posted a video of Pourandarjani speaking at his graduation ceremony.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered Kahrizak, which is in southern Tehran, to be shut down in late July following growing criticism and anger over reported abuses there.

The authorities have said that those officials who violated the law at Kahrizak will be put on trial.

The spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council committee in charge of investigating the postelection events, Parviz Soruri, was quoted in October as saying that most of the suspects arrested for the abuses at the Kahrizak detention center have been released on bail.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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