Iran police raid home of slain Canadian journalistís lawyer    Thu. 28 Jul 2005


Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 28 Ė Agents of Iranís public prosecutorís office and plainclothes policemen conducted a raid on Thursday morning on the home of a lawyer representing the family of murdered Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

The raid on the home of Abdolfattah Soltani was carried out on the orders of
Tehranís Public Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi. Mortazavi himself has been implicated in the murder and a French newspaper quoted sources in Tehran as saying that Kazemi died of blows to her head by Mortazavi.

Agents entered the premises carrying a warrant for Soltaniís arrest, but they were unable to detain him as he had gone out earlier in the day.

They instructed Soltaniís family to turn him in to the authorities for questioning.

Iranís semi-official daily Kayhan has charged that Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and Abdolfattah Soltani are fellow-conspirators in a plot to compel jailed dissident Akbar Ganji to die. Kayhan even claimed that Ebadi and Soltani were discovered and detained by security guards on the roof of the hospital where Ganji is staying. Ebadi strongly dismissed the charges as bogus.

Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested in July 2003 for taking photographs of families of political prisoners who had gathered outside
Tehranís notorious Evin Prison to obtain some information about their loved ones.

She was tortured and raped while in detention, according to a former Iranian military doctor who had examined Kazemi at a Revolutionary Guards hospital, where she was taken after losing consciousness in Evin Prison.

On Monday, during a hearing where Kazemiís relatives had requested the judiciary to reopen the murder trial, Soltani pointed the finger at Mortazavi for the murder.