Iranian reformists: 69 killed in riots

Mousavi aide gives parliament list with names for further investigation; regime claims only 20 killed.

August 11, 2009 12:19
2 minute read.
Iranian reformists: 69 killed in riots

Mir Hossein Mousavi 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Iran's political opposition said 69 people were killed in protests over the June 12 presidential vote which led to the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and not 20 as the regime asserted, Deutsche Presse Agentur quoted a Teheran newspaper as saying on Tuesday. The Sarmayeh daily quoted Alireza Hosseini-Beheshti, an ally of chief reformist leader and defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, as saying that a list with the names of 69 demonstrators who were killed in the post-election riots was presented to the parliament on Monday for further investigation. The Iranian government has said that between 20 and 26 people were killed in the unrest, but opposition circles always claimed that the number was much higher. Reformists also said that 12-year-old Ali Reza was killed during a protest gathering in Teheran's Beheshte Zahra cemetery on July 30, but the claims were rejected by the boy's parents, who said their son was killed in a car accident before the gathering. A local news agency, ILNA, reported that Hosseini-Beheshti met on Monday with the head of the parliament's security commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, and discussed the latest developments. The Mousavi aide also said that about 220 people were still being held in detention. According to official statistics, the number of detainees is 110. Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani ordered a committee to investigate the deaths as well as the situation of the detainees. Claims made Sunday by senior opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, who also ran in the recent presidential election, that some young protesters had been sexually abused in detention, has led to renewed controversy. Karroubi quoted released detainees as saying that some of the young women had been so brutally raped in jail that their genitals were torn. In a letter to the head of the clergy Experts Assembly, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Karroubi also claimed that young male prisoners had been "brutally raped." Larijani said that he would follow up the claims, the Etemad Melli daily reported on Tuesday. "A special committee is following up the [rape] case and will soon make a report, and I personally will follow up the case as well," Larijani said. Some of the arrested protesters were sent to Kahrizak prison in southern Teheran, dubbed "Teheran's Guantanamo," which was closed down last month because it failed to meet the necessary standards for preserving detainees' rights. Both the Iranian police chief and prosecutors-general office have confirmed physical abuse in the Kahrizak prison, saying it was "indefensible," and demanded punishment for all those responsible for mistreating prisoners, DPA reported.

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