Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei Orders Closure of Kahrizak Prison

Rights Groups Say Detainees From Post-Election Protests Killed in Prison

In what is seen by many as a conciliatory move towards reformists, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the closure of the nation’s Kahrizak prison, which housed protesters detained for their roles in the pro-Mousavi rallies in the wake of last month’s disputed election.

Allegations of widespread abuse of the detainees at Kahrizak appeared to have prompt the closure. Some of the detainees also died in custody at the prison, sparking further allegations of torture by the regime and more protests by the reformists. Hundreds of detainees remain in custody.

However, that number continues to drop today as the Iranian parliament, investigating the treatment of detainees at the Evin prison, ordered 140 of them released. A parliamentary committee visited that prison, also after complaints of abuse.

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the chief of Iran’s judiciary, has also ordered a review of the evidence against the remaining detainees to be completed within a week, and has said that those who did not commit serious crimes should be freed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.