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Iran whistleblower died from drug-laden salad

A doctor who blew the whistle on the torture of jailed protesters in Iran died of poisoning from an overdose of an anti-hypertension drug in his salad, prosecutors say, fuelling opposition fears that he was killed because of what he knew about the abuse.

world Updated: Dec 02, 2009 23:18 IST

A doctor who blew the whistle on the torture of jailed protesters in Iran died of poisoning from an overdose of an anti-hypertension drug in his salad, prosecutors say, fuelling opposition fears that he was killed because of what he knew about the abuse.

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.

26-year-old doctor, Ramin Pourandarjani, died on Nov 10 in mysterious circumstances -- with authorities initially saying he was killed 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.