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Iran To Probe Jailed Blogger's Death

Opposition groups say Sattar Beheshti was tortured in prison.
Iran's official IRNA news agency says a parliamentary committee plans to investigate the alleged torturing death of jailed Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti.

The 35-year-old died in police custody after being arrested on October 30 for what authorities said were “actions against national security on social networks and Facebook.”

Opposition groups say Beheshti was tortured in prison. At some point during his detention, he was allegedly held in Iran's notorious Evin prison.

Deputy parliamentary speaker Mohammad Hasan Abutorabifard is quoted by IRNA as saying that the probe would be conducted by the influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy.

Abutorabifard's remarks are the first official Iranian reaction in the case.

International Outrage

Iranian opposition groups say Beheshti's family was asked on November 7 to collect his body. He was buried in his hometown of Rabat Karim, southwest of the Iranian capital.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists said on November 10 that Iranian authorities must release full details on Beheshti's "suspicious death" in prison.

The U.S. State Department has demanded a probe of what it called "murder."

Dozens of Iranian bloggers and journalists have been arrested amid widespread crackdowns in Iran in recent years.

Amnesty International said fears that Beheshti died as a result of torture in an Iranian detention facility are “very plausible, given Iran's track record when it comes to deaths in custody."

Before Beheshti's arrest in October, he posted a blog saying he was warned by security services about his anti-regime views.

With reporting by AP
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