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Iran speaker says vote detainees not been raped: TV
Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:05am EDT
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By Zahra Hosseinian and Hossein Jaseb
TEHRAN (Reuters) - The speaker of Iran's parliament on Wednesday rejected as "baseless" an opposition leader's accusation that moderates had been raped in jail following their detention in unrest linked to June's disputed presidential poll.
"Based on parliament's investigations, detainees have not been raped or sexually abused in Iran's Kahrizak and Evin prisons. Such claims are totally baseless," Iran's state television quoted Ali Larijani as saying.
Defeated moderate candidate Mehdi Karoubi said some protesters, both men and women, had been raped in prison.
Many of the post-election detainees were held in south Tehran's Kahrizak prison, built to house people breaching vice laws. At least three people died in custody there.
A committee set up by losing candidates Karoubi and Mirhossein Mousavi to pursue the issue submitted a list of 69 people killed in protests to parliament on Monday. The list contradicted the official figure of 26 deaths.
Defeated conservative presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie said officials in charge should be put on trial.
"If ... reports about the mistreatment and abuses of detainees and protesters are proved, all officials in charge should at least be sacked and tried in court," Rezaie was quoted by the semi-official ILNA news agency as saying.
"And a day of national mourning should be declared."
Rights group Amnesty International urged Iran to allow international observers to monitor the trials of more than 100 people accused of involvement in the protests that followed the election.
"The trial now going on in Tehran appears to be nothing but a "show trial' through which the supreme leader and those around him seek to de-legitimize recent mass and largely peaceful protests and convince a very skeptical world that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected fairly for a second term as president," said Amnesty Secretary-General Irene Khan.
Washington, its European allies and leading Iranian reformers have rejected the mass trials as a "show."
The fallout from the post-election unrest further cloud prospects of Iran accepting U.S. President Barack Obama's offer of direct talks on Iran's nuclear program.
In the second mass trial to open within a week, on Saturday a court charged a Frenchwoman, two Iranian staffers at the British and French embassies and dozens of senior moderates with spying and plotting to overthrow clerical rule.
The French embassy agreed to provide bail to secure the release of the French woman, teaching assistant Clotilde Reiss, official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday. Continued...
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