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Rouhani calls for investigation into prison deaths

Rouhani calls for investigation into prison deaths
From Al Jazeera - February 15, 2018

In a rare public statement, President Hassan Rouhani has announced the appointment of a four-member committee to investigate what it called detention houses in the country.

President Rouhani appointed a four-member committee to investigate and deal with regrettable incidents in a number of detention houses. The committee is tasked with investigate[ing] the issues and report back to the President about the possible negligence in this regard, the presidency website said on Wednesday.

The committee comprises some of the highest members of Iran's government, the ministers of interior, intelligence, and justice, as well as vice president for legal affairs.

Human rights activists reported that at least six detainees have died in prisons over the past two months in Iran. The judiciary has confirmed three deaths in custody but said all three had committed suicide.

Kavous Seyed-Emami, an Iranian-Canadian sociology professor, was arrested on January 24 and died in prison. Irans judiciary said Seyed-Emami, 63, had committed suicide.

Seyed-Emami was the managing director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation.

Tehrans prosecutor, Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, was quoted as saying by state media this week that Seyed-Emami had set up the NGO as a cover to collect classified information on Irans missile programme.

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