Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: May 19 • Printable version    

Re-opening of notorious Iranian prison denied

Chief Justice of Tehran Province denied allegations about re-opening of the notorious Kahrizak Detention Centre.

Alireza Avayi told a group of reporters today that a prison with “good standards” has been built in the vicinity of Kahrizak Detention Centre which has no connection with this detention centre.

Kahrizak was shut down last summer after news of abuse and death of post-election detainees leaked out creating adverse publicity for Islamic Republic authorities. The notorious detention centre was shut down by the order of the Supreme Leader who stated “sub-standard conditions” as the reason for the closure.

A parliamentary probe later confirmed that gross misconduct by prison officials had indeed taken place at this jail which caused the death of at least three detainees.

Earlier Mehdi Khazali had written a letter to Iran’s Head of Judiciary informing him that Kahrizak Detention Centre is being reopened. He had called on the judiciary to probe into the opening of this centre.

Alireza Avayi’s reaction, which has come weeks after Mr. Khazali’s letter to Sadegh Larijani was published, tries to ease concerns saying: “The new prison is a legal prison with appropriate standards.” He insists that the new prison has been mistakenly referred to as Kahrizak Prison.

The judiciary has charged 12 prison officials in connection with the deaths at Kahrizak Prison who are accused of first degree murder.

The prosecution of the perpetrators of the Kahrizak crimes remains behind closed door and no official news has been announced regarding their fate.

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