Thursday, November 15, 2012
The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of an Iranian blogger. “I am deeply concerned about the death in prison of Sattar Beheshti,” said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. “I urge the authorities to investigate Mr. Beheshti's case and the exact circumstances of his death.
Mr. Beheshti, 35, wrote about politics and human rights in his blog, Magalh 91, according to the UN agency. He was arrested last month, and died while in detention on 6 November – his body was retrieved by his family for burial, and is said to have shown signs of violence.
“It is essential to respect the right of citizen and professional journalists to speak and write without fearing for their lives,” Ms. Bokova added. “Freedom of expression is a basic human right and essential component of democracy, good governance and rule of law.”
(UN Press Release)