Sunday, April 03, 2005

Iran rejects fresh testimony about dead reporter

Iranian officials have rejected the testimony of a defector who says Canadian photojournalist ZahraKazemi was tortured and possibly raped before her death in Tehran in July 2003. READ MORE

They said on Saturday they had no record of Shahram Azam working as doctor in the hospital where he said he saw evidence of flogging in addition to battered feet, extracted nails and a broken nose. A nurse saw possible evidence of rape, Azam said.

Azam's account of Kazemi's injuries, given in Ottawa on Thursday, differed sharply from that of the Iranian authorities whoinsist Kazemi fainted and struck her head."These allegations made by an Iranian refugee are baseless and false," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi toldthe official IRNA news agency.

"Hospital officials have denied this person's name was on the medical staff team," he added.