RSF: Shock at death of blogger in Tehran prison

Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders said today it was deeply shocked at the death in a Tehran prison of blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi and called for the immediate opening of an investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy.

His lawyer, Mohamed Ali Dadkhah, was informed of the blogger’s death by a doctor, Hesem Firozi, who is himself imprisoned. The young blogger had been depressed and no longer able to cope with prison conditions. The doctor said, “The death of this young blogger is entirely due to a failure to provide assistance.” Omidreza Mirsayafi had been devastated at the prison authorities’ refusal to allow him permission to leave the prison.

”We hold the Iranian authorities entirely responsible for the death of Omidreza Mirsayafi. He was unfairly arrested and they failed to provide him with the necessary medical care”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “His death is a sad reminder of the fact that the Iranian regime is one of the harshest in the world for journalists and bloggers. We call for the setting up of an independent commission to determine this young man’s cause of death.”

The blogger was summoned to Tehran’s revolutionary court for interrogation on 7 February 2009. At the end of the questioning, he was placed in detention. To this date, his lawyers have still not received any notice of sentence from the court.

[via CPB and Global Voices and Human Rights Activists in Iran]

Background info here and here.

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