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Iran’s notorious 'butcher of journalists' former prosecutor arrested

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Feb. 10. 2012: Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran a day before the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. (Reuters)

Iran’s Saeed Mortazavi, a former Tehran prosecutor who earned the nickname “Butcher of Journalists” for his cruel torture and mass murder of political prisoners and journalists, has been arrested by the Iranian judiciary, according to a report by Fars News Agency, Iran’s state-run news platform.

According to the Fars News report, Mortazavi was taken into custody as he was leaving his office in Tehran and transferred to the notoriously brutal Evin Prison; ironically where he would send off many prisoners to be tortured.

No charges have been publicly announced, according to the report.

Many speculate his arrest signals further fracturing of the regime and, in particular, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s camp, of which Mortazavi was a pivotal player. In recent days the infighting among members of the regime has been more hostile than ever.

Mortazavi played a significant role in the capture, torture and in many times murder of political dissidents and journalists, particularly after the 2009 Iranian post-election uprisings.

He was also implicated in the Kahrizak Prison incident when three inmates who were detained in connection with the June 2009 uprisings lost their lives in July 2009. Kahrizak came under the spotlight in the aftermath of the uprisings. The prison was notorious for the rape of both male and female inmates.

Directly following this incident, Mortazavi was further promoted by Ahmadinejad to head of the Social Security Organization, rather than losing his job.

Last week, Majlis speaker Ali Larijani announced that it was “unlawful” to retain Mortazavi as director of this organization, according to the Mehr News Agency.

Lisa Daftari is a Fox News contributor specializing in Middle Eastern affairs.

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