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Germany Urged To Prosecute Iranian Judge Linked To 'Torture' Of Journalists

The RSF press-freedom watchdog has accused Gholamreza Mansouri of being responsible for the "arrest and torture" of at least 20 journalists. (file photo)

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed a complaint with Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor against an Iranian judge whom the Paris-based media freedom watchdog accuses of being responsible for the "arrest and torture" of at least 20 journalists in 2013.

In a Twitter post on June 11, RSF’s Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said that Gholamreza Mansouri was currently in Germany.

"The prosecutor must not let him escape justice!" he wrote.

The move comes two days after the London-based rights group Justice for Iran called for information that could lead to Mansouri’s prosecution in Germany.

Citing the testimony of "a significant number" of journalists, Justice for Iran said in a statement that Mansouri was "responsible for issuing arrest warrants against them."

"These journalists were interrogated for months in [Tehran’s] Evin prison in solitary confinement and pressured to confess against themselves and others."

Mansouri is among several judges who were accused of corruption during the high-profile trial of a former senior judiciary official that opened in Tehran on June 7.

'Full Trust In The Islamic Republic'

Officials have claimed that the judge, who has left the country, had received a bribe of 500,000 euros ($562,000).

In a video posted online on June 8, Mansouri didn’t give details about his whereabouts, but he said he would return to Iran as soon as travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are eased.

"I have full trust in the Islamic republic, Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], and the judicial system," Mansouri said in the video, adding that he was proud of having served in the Iranian judiciary for three decades.

Some media reports said Mansouri went abroad to receive medical treatment.

Iran ranks 173th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

In recent years, Iranian authorities have detained and imprisoned dozens of journalists, bloggers, and media workers following trials described as unfair by human rights defenders.

Scores of media publications have been also closed.