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Former Iranian chief prosecutor Said Mortazavi

Said Mortazavi, Iran's notorious former chief prosecutor, has been sentenced to receive 135 lashes for charges related to a corruption trial.

Mortazavi, who played a major role in sentencing opposition activists from Iran's Green Movement following the disputed 2009 presidential election, was convicted on November 2 in Tehran of "seizing and wasting public funds" when he headed the country's welfare program.

Mortazavi, 49, can appeal the sentence.

A close ally of hard-line former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the sentencing is the culmination a huge fall from grace for a man who led Tehran's Revolutionary Court and the country's powerful Judiciary from 2003 to 2009, leading the attack against reformists and shutting down opposition media outlets.

Mortazavi was found responsible by parliament for the deaths of three antigovernment demonstrators and was suspended from his job in 2010 and was disbarred in 2014.

Human Rights Watch described Mortazavi in 2010 as a "serial human rights abuser."

Mortazavi was targeted by U.S. sanctions over "sustained and severe violations of human rights" while chief prosecutor and was linked to the 2003 death in custody of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
Russian opposition activist Ildar Dadin (file photo)

MOSCOW -- The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has said doctors found no traces of trauma or assault on a jailed activist who alleges he was tortured.

Human rights activists, however, have expressed doubts over the independence of the prison service's findings.

Ildar Dadin made shocking allegations on November 1 in which he said he was subjected to violent beatings and threatened with murder by the warden and staff of the prison in the northwestern region of Karelia where he is serving a 2 1/2-year sentence.

But on November 2, The FSIN's press service said a group of "independent" doctors conducted a preliminary medical examination of Dadin, assessing his condition to be "satisfactory" and saying no signs of battery or earlier trauma were found on him.

Human rights activist Pavel Chikov cast doubt on the FSIN statements, questioning why the penitentiary service is speaking on behalf of supposedly independent doctors.

Dadin, 34, alleged that his most severe beating happened almost two months ago, on September 11.

The FSIN said Dadin would also be taken to a hospital for further examinations.

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