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Iranian student on death row says tortured-papers

TEHRAN, Iran, March 1 (Reuters) - An Iranian student sentenced to  death for his alleged role in unrest last July has said he was  tortured during his detention, newspapers reported on Wednesday.  

"I was beaten up right after being arrested and at  different times they would hang me and beat the soles of my feet  with cables," Akbar Mohammadi said in a letter published in the  reformist daily Arya.  

"Repeated kicks and punches in the face and body have left  me with hearing difficulties...and I now suffer from kidney  problems," said the letter addressed to judiciary chief  Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.  

"My friend Ataollah Moradi arrested with me...was whipped  in my presence...to confess," Mohammadi said.  

Mohammadi said he was denied hospitalisation for his kidney  problems even though a prison physician recommended it.  

He was charged with using petrol bombs during six days of  unrest in July after police and hard-liners attacked student  dormitories following a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration.  

The unrest was the worst in Iran since the aftermath of the  1979 Islamic revolution. Around 1,500 people were arrested in  Tehran and the northwestern city of Tabriz, many of whom remain  in prison.  

Public criticism of the feared secret police has become more  common in the freer atmosphere under reformist President  Mohammad Khatami, who took office in 1997.  

Tehran's former police chief and 19 other policemen went on  trial this week over the attack on the student dormitories.