2009 Election Protests

Iranian MP Ali Motahari has once again challenged the fairness of severe sentences issued to protesters following the 2009 election protests.

ISNA reports that Motahari told the annual gathering for Kaaj Civil Rights in Kermanshah: “We object to the treatment of protesters.”

“Some individuals were arrested the day after the elections,” Motahari was quoted as saying; “They had neither participated in any demonstrations nor challenged the legitimacy of the election; the sentences that they were handed were extremely severe.”

Reports indicate that 10 days after the 2009 election, at least 800 political, human rights, and student activists as well as journalists and other citizens were arrested. Within two months, according to judiciary statistics, 4,000 people were arrested in relation to the election protests.

Motahari also spoke out against the treatment of Sattar Beheshti by the Cyber Police, saying: “Was it necessary to do such a thing for a blog that was being only visited by seven or eight people each day? To put someone under such pressure until he dies? We believe the opposition should be free to have their say in the framework of the law so that we can respond to them up front.”

Sattar Beheshti was arrested for the anti-regime content of his blogs and three days later was pronounced dead while in custody. Many of his cellmates reported that he had been tortured in prison, but the coroner’s report did not link his death to the signs of torture on his body.