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Apr 23, 8:31 AM EDT

Iran removes official in charge of prisons

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's official news agency says the official in charge of the country's prisons has been removed from the post. The development follows reports of alleged abuse of inmates at a Tehran penitentiary.

IRNA said on Wednesday that Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli, a cleric and the head of the government's judiciary branch, replaced chief of prisons Gholamhossein Esmaili with Asghar Jahangir.

Jahangir has for years been the cleric's close adviser. Esmaili was named head of the justice department of Tehran province.

Families of the prisoners purportedly beaten during a snap inspection at Evin prison held a rally this week in front of the parliament and outside President Hassan Rouhani's office, demanding an explanation.

Several lawmakers on Tuesday demanded a probe into the case.

Esmaili has denied any beatings took place.

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