Abolfazl Abedini

Forty-four Iranian political prisoners at Evin Prison have issued a statement protesting the transfer of Abolfazl Abedini to Ahwaz Prison in southern Iran, calling for his immediate return.

The Kaleme Website reports that the signatories have denounced the actions against Abedini and described them as a reaction to his efforts to support the investigations into the death of detained blogger Sattar Beheshti last November.

Beheshti died a few days after his arrest by the Cyber Police in Tehran, and Abedini has reportedly offered testimony to support reports that Beheshti was tortured by his interrogators.

Abedini was transferred once last November and was returned shortly afterward to Evin Prison, after his cellmates protested his treatment by the authorities.

The authorities have tried to steer away from controversy in the case of Sattar Beheshti. The coroner’s office confirmed the dead blogger’s body had the marks of beatings but it also announced that the beatings and blows could not have been the cause of death. They have attributed Beheshti’s death to psychological stress.

Abedini is a labour activist who has been serving an 11-year prison term for “propaganda against the regime, an interview with foreign media and links to enemy countries.”