Rights groups: Many reformists seized in Iran crackdown

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June 18, 2009 04:59

 
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International human rights organizations said Wednesday that many prominent activists and politicians have been arrested in response to protests over Iran's disputed election. Hadi Ghaemi, director of the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights, said he had spoken with family members and colleagues of people who have been arrested or disappeared and was told that there were at least 200 across the country. The Associated Press could not independently confirm the rights groups' reports due to government restrictions on reporting inside the country. The Iranian government has said that it has arrested a relatively small number of people responsible for violence and other crimes. Ghaemi said one of the latest to be arrested was Ebrahim Yazdi, who was foreign minister after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 1979 revolution and is now leader of the banned but tolerated Freedom Movement of Iran. Ghaemi said Yazdi was arrested in the intensive care unit of Pars Hospital in Tehran.

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