Saeed Mortazavi, a prominent Iranian jurist and prosecutor of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, has been tapped to lead the investigation of jailed reformist leaders and party officials amidst widespread demonstrations in response the disputed June 12th presidential election.
Mortazavi, who has been implicated by Human Rights Watch for torture, illegal detention and coercion for confessions, gained infamy for his role in the death of a Canadian-Iranian photographer who was tortured, beaten and raped while detained in 2003.
In 2000, Mortazavi led a crackdown against the Islamic Republic’s domestic opposition, ordering the closure of over 100 newspapers. Four years later he detained more than twenty bloggers and journalists, holding them in unknown locations. “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.