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Reporters Without Borders Criticizes Germany, Romania For Not Arresting Fugitive Judge

Romanian police removing the body of Gholamreza Mansouri from a hotel in Bucharest where he was found dead on Friday.

In a statement released on Friday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it regrets that the Romanian and German authorities did not immediately arrest former Iranian judge Gholamreza Mansouri despite the RSF complaint against him.

“This sudden death deprives the victims of a trial,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire has said. “It is shocking that the German and Romanian authorities did not arrest him at once in response to RSF’s complaint for crimes against humanity, in accordance with their international obligations. The worst could have been avoided and justice could have been rendered”.

The notorious judge who was wanted in Iran for corruption charges brought against him in a highly sensational trial was found dead in a Bucharest hotel on Friday in suspicious circumstances while presumably under the surveillance of the Romanian authorities.

Judge Gholamreza Mansouri, a prosecutor with the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office for Culture and Media, was also responsible for the persecution, arbitrary detention and torture of at least 20 journalists in Iran in 2013 and RSF had filed complaints against him last week in Germany where he had fled to escape prosecution in the corruption case.

RSF filed a second complaint in Romania on June 13 as soon as it learned that he was there.

If he had been arrested by German or Romanian authorities, his sudden death would have been prevented, the statement said.

Romanian authorities have given different accounts of Mansouri's death on Friday. Many social media users have speculated that the notorious judge was pushed to his death from by agents of the Iranian regime to save them the embarrassment of his trial for human rights violations in a European country.

RSF has now called for a judicial inquiry to be conducted "as quickly and transparently as possible" in order to determine the circumstances of Mansouri's death.

Judge Mansouri also allegedly ordered the arrest and torture of family members of GEM TV's president, Saeed Karimian, who was shot dead on April 29, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey.