Iran’s judiciary has a go at opposition leaders

2009/10/13

Published in weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” on October 13, 2009
Source: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,654811,00.html

He was one of the two mouthpieces of the election protests in Tehran – now the Iranian judiciary has opened a procedure against Mehdi Karroubi. Reason: He had denounced torture and sexual abuse of detainees.

IRAN-VOTE-KARROUBI

Tehran – Following his public allegations about anti-government detainees being raped in prison, the Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi is facing trial. According to news agency IRNA, the Ministry of Justice has initiated the respective procedures on Tuesday.

The results of the commission of inquiry have been received by the office of the public prosecutor. “Mr Karroubi will be held accountable at the clerical court”, said Tehran’s prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi according to IRNA. Besides Mr Karroubi, “further individuals” will be summoned to court.

The commission at the Ministry of Justice had presented their final report in early September. The accusations made by Karroubi were “baseless, far from reality, and completely fabricated”, the paper said.

Karroubi has accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime of massive torture against oppositional detainees.
In several prisons, government critics were also sexually abused. In September, 90 former inmates of the controversial Kahrizak detention center had filed complaints about mistreatment.

Karroubi and opposition candidate [Mir] Hossein Moussavi were both defeated in the Iranian presidential elections on June 12. Both accuse the regime of massive electoral fraud. Their supporters went to the streets in their hundreds of thousands to protest against the officially announced results. The powerful Iranian Guardian Council demanded to put the “instigators of the protests” on trial.

Meanwhile, six people were executed in Iran. As reported by “Kayhan” newspaper on Tuesday, four men and two women were hanged last week in the city of Ahvaz in southwestern Iran. Five of the executed persons were convicted drug traffickers, one was a murderer. In Iran, a number of serious crimes is punishable by death, among them murder, rape, armed robbery, and smuggling of more than 5 kilograms of narcotics.

Last week, three regime opponents have been sentenced to death. They had been protesting against the controversial re-election of Ahmadinejad. The judgements are not yet final.

amz/Reuters/dpa

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