Iran Doctor Who Blew Whistle on Torture Was Poisoned to Death

Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Associated Press via FoxNews.com

CAIRO, Egypt — A doctor who exposed the torture of jailed protesters in Iran died of poisoning from an overdose of a blood pressure drug in a salad, prosecutors say. The findings fueled opposition fears that he was killed because of what he knew.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether his death was a suicide or murder, Tehran’s public prosecutor Abbas Dowlatabadi said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

The 26-year-old doctor, Ramin Pourandarjani, died on Nov. 10 in mysterious circumstances — with authorities initially saying he was in a car accident, had a heart attack or committed suicide.

Pourandarjani was a doctor at Kahrizak, a prison on Tehran’s outskirts where hundreds of opposition protesters were taken after being arrested in the crackdown following June’s disputed presidential elections. The facility became so notorious that it was ordered shut down by Iran’s supreme leader as reports of abuse and torture became an embarrassment to the clerical rulers and security forces.

Pourandarjani later testified to a parliamentary committee and reportedly told them that one young protester he treated died from heavy torture.

The young physician died from an overdose of propranolol in a delivery salad, Dowlatabadi said Tuesday. Propranolol is used to treat high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and tremors, and can be lethal in high doses.

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