Sattar Beheshti was arrested on October 30 and died while in police custody, sparking international outrage. The 35-year-old blogger was an activist who had received death threats before being arrested; Iran's parliament has promised a full investigation into Beheshti's death.
According to reports, Beheshti is believed to have died as a result of torture, though nothing has been proven just yet. But the fact that Beheshti died in police custody was cause for alarm from groups such as Amnesty International. Individuals, and activist groups, called for parliament to investigate Beheshti's death and are finally getting their wish.
"I recommend that instead of dealing harshly with bloggers, you go after corrupt officials," lawmaker Ahmad Tavakoli said in a statement, according to Mehr. "Why do the Foreign ministry and judiciary not explain this? A death has happened and it should be explained," Tavakoli added.
"The national security and foreign policy committee of Parliament has investigated this topic and has formed a committee in this regard. With the decisive and special order of judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, all aspects of the incidents have been carefully studied and the results will soon be announced," Abu-Torabi Ford said, according to Reuters.
There has been a backlash against the press, and those who write discouraging things about the country of Iran. Blogging has become one way for dissidents to express themselves, though they do so at their own peril. In Beheshti's case, he and his entire family had been receiving death threats before his arrest.
"They sent me a message saying, 'Tell your mother she will soon be wearing black because you don't shut your big mouth,'" Amnesty International reported Beheshti saying the day before his arrest.
News of Beheshti's death has spread abroad, leading to such investigations by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The U.S. State Department has also called for a full investigation into the circumstances of Beheshti's death.