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August 10, 2009

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Iran Guard calls to try suspects for unrest

IRAN'S powerful Revolutionary Guard said yesterday that opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, a defeated presidential candidate and a former president should be tried for inciting unrest after a disputed presidential poll.

"If Mousavi, (defeated candidate Mehdi) Karoubi and (former president Mohammad) Khatami are main suspects behind the soft revolution in Iran, which they are, we expect the judiciary ... to go after them, arrest them, put them on trial and punish them," said Yadollah Javan, a senior Guard commander, the IRNA news agency reported.

Protests gripped Tehran and other cities after the June 12 vote, which moderates say was rigged to secure the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but officials say it was the "healthiest" vote in the past 30 years.

State media say at least 26 people were killed and hundreds arrested in post-election violence.

In an attempt to calm widespread anger, Iran jailed the head of the Kahrizak detention center after at least three people died in custody in the southern Tehran prison as the judiciary held trials of detainees arrested over post-election unrest.

"The head of the center has been sacked and jailed. Three policemen who beat detainees have been jailed as well," IRNA quoted Iran's police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam as saying.

A police statement issued last Thursday confirmed that serious violations took place at Kahrizak.

Ahmadi-Moghaddam also confirmed that some post-election detainees had been tortured in Kahrizak prison, which Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered closed in July for "lack of necessary standards" to preserve the rights of prisoners.

Moderate Websites reported the death of at least three protesters in Kahrizak, including the son of a top adviser to conservative defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie.

After Mohsen Ruholamini's death in Kahrizak, Iran's top judge Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi ordered his envoys to visit all "prisons and detention centers."

The center became the source of even more controversy when two more Kahrizak detainees later died in hospital.

Authorities say the voter unrest detainees have been sent to Tehran's Evin prison.

They also say some 200 post-election protesters remain jailed, including senior pro-reform politicians, journalists, activists and lawyers.

Iranian prosecutor Qorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi said all necessary legal measures would be taken against those "who had violated the law" in Kahrizak, the Etemad-e Melli newspaper reported.


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