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Ex-Iranian Deputy Criticizes Prison Abuse Investigation

Iran's Evin prison
A former Iranian parliament deputy has called for the government to examine its handling of an investigation into abuse at a Tehran prison, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ali Akbar Mosavi Khoeni spoke to Radio Farda on July 1 about the case at Kehrizak prison, the site of the alleged abuse of hundreds of protesters arrested in the aftermath of Iran's disputed presidential election in June 2009.

All but one of the prison workers tried for the alleged abuse were convicted on June 30, with two of them being sentenced to death.

But human rights advocates say most of those convicted received light sentences considering the degree of the alleged abuse. Nine of those convicted will face brief jail terms, fines, whipping, and temporary removal from their jobs.

Khoeni, a former parliament deputy, said Iran's Assembly of Experts and the Islamic Consultative Assembly should look into the conduct of the Kherizak investigation. He noted some of the government entities allegedly involved in the Kherizak abuse have links to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khoeni believes a thorough examination of the Kherizak case is essential to prevent future prison abuse. He noted that similar complaints of abuse have come from Tehran's Evin prison.

"Many in Evin have submitted written complaints describing the severe torture they have experienced and imploring the authorities to take action," he said.

But Khoeni noted that at Evin prison, like at Kherizak, authorities have yet to fully understand and address the issue of prisoner abuse. "The pattern [of abuse at Evin] is continuing in the same manner," Khoeni said.

While in parliament, Khoeni was involved in investigations of prison abuse incidents. He himself was jailed in Evin prison for several months in 2006.