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Iran: Official Says Canadian Journalist Died From Beatings

Tehran, 16 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi today said that Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi, who was last month arrested outside a Tehran prison, died as a result of beatings. Abtahi told reporters that a report by Iran's health minister says that Kazemi died of a brain hemorrhage resulting from beatings. The report comes after Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on 13 July ordered an investigation into Kazemi's death.

Kazemi, a Canadian of Iranian descent, was arrested last month for taking photos of Tehran's Evin Prison.

Meanwhile, journalist Hossein Farrokhi, director of Iran's "Cinema-Theater" magazine, was yesterday arrested and jailed after publishing photographs of women film stars deemed not to conform with Iran's Islamic dress code.

In less than a week, six journalists have been detained in Iran, bringing to 24 the number of journalists currently in prison in Iran.