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Family Of Slain Iranian Protester Objects To Jailer Verdicts

Javadifar (right) was one of three prisoners killed at the Kahrizak detention center
Javadifar (right) was one of three prisoners killed at the Kahrizak detention center
The brother of a protester who died in custody following Iran's 2009 presidential election has criticized the verdicts in the trial of jailers accused of abusing detainees, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Babak Javadifar, whose brother Amir was killed at Tehran's Kahrizak detention center last summer, told Radio Farda this week that his family objects to the outcome of the June 30 military trial of 12 jailers who were charged with abuse at the detention center.

"We believe that the first defendant, who was a colonel in charge of Kahrizak, is responsible for my brother's death," Babak Javadifar said.

The court sentenced nine of the jailers with short jail terms, suspensions from work, or lashes. Two others were sentenced to death. But the colonel in charge was acquitted.

Babak Javadifar said that based on eyewitness testimony in court, the colonel had beaten Amir.

"Since the reason for Amir's death was blows he received during the 72 hours before he died, then the colonel had a role in it," Babak Javadifar said. "Unfortunately, he has been acquitted on this charge."

The Kahrizak detention center was used to jail demonstrators detained after the disputed presidential election.

Mohsen Ruholamini, the son of an adviser to presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie, and Mohammad Kamrani, also died in custody at Kahrizak.

Kahrizak was shut down in August 2009, by order of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei due to its "substandard" condition.

Babak Javadifar said that except for his brother, Ruholamini, and Kamrani, all other detained protesters were later released without charge.

"If [my brother and the other two who were killed] had really committed a crime and the crime was so heavy that they had to be taken to Kahrizak, why were [the others] released?"