Saaed Mortazavi has been empowered to interrogate leaders of Iran’s governmental opposition. Mortazavi is responsible for helping keep a stranglehold on media news in Iran.
The government’s use of Mortazavi, also known as “Butcher of the press” and “torturer of Tehran,” is sending warning alarms to human rights watchers. Mortazavi has been the prosecutor of Iran since 2003.
Mortazavi was behind Roxana Saberi’s arrest earlier this year. His name is also linked to the arrest, torture, rape and death of Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi.
Times Online reports:
Reporters without Borders concurs: “It was Mortazavi who was chiefly responsible for Canadian-Iranian press photographer Zahra Kazemi’s death.”
Mortazavi has been behind the closure of 100 newspapers in Iran. He is also reponsible for bloggers and journalists being arrested and in some cases killed.
Raw Story reports:
[quote“I have no doubt that these protesters will be treated just as brutally as Ms. Kazemi, maybe worse,” said Shahram Azam, a doctor who, in 2005, testified to a Canadian court that Kazemi had been tortured.
Protesters who are being detained by Iran after the recent election could be face to face with Saaed Mortazavi.
Cafe Sentido.com reports:
“The leading role of Saeed Mortazavi in the crackdown in Tehran should set off alarm bells for anyone familiar with his record,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch.
Mortazavi has been a central figure in Iran’s crackdown on dissenters. He has seen to the arrest of aides to the top opposition figures.
Mortazavi is said to have a history of detaining women for “immodest” clothing.
It is said that the government’s use of Mortazavi shows that they will be ruthless to crush the uprising in Tehran.