‘Torturer Of Tehran’ Loses His Untouchable Status

With a frightening reputation and friends in high places, Said Mortazavi for years appeared to have the untouchable status that bred impunity and led his enemies to label him the “torturer of Tehran.”

As a judge and prosecutor, he shut down more than 60 newspapers, detained scores of journalists and political activists, and was even implicated in the murder and torture of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who died in the custody of interrogators in 2003.

But now, it seems, Tehran’s fearsome former chief prosecutor may have met his nemesis — brought low by violent events that have shocked Iran’s political establishment into seeking a high-profile fall guy.

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