Iranian judge orders action against jailed protesters

TEHRAN - Iran’s judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi has ordered immediate action against the protesters detained during the anti-government demonstrations, judiciary spokesman Ali-Reza Jamshidi said Monday.

Three hundred people have been put in jail after protesting alleged fraud in the June 12 presidential election, Jamshidi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

The number given by Jamshidi of the detainees - including protesters, journalists, dissidents and former officials - was at least double of previous official figures.

The spokesman also said that according to the order, those detainees with no major charges should be released on bail within one week.

The chief judge also demanded a detailed report from a three-man commission on the treatment of the detainees and the situation inside the prisons.

Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi, one of the candidates who lost in the June 12 election to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and former presidents Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami had several times called on the relevant officials to release all political detainees.

Moussavi had even accused the security officials of treating the prisoners like those during the Shah’s era.

In a statement issued on his website, Moussavi termed the killings and arrests of the protesters as a catastrophe and said “people would never forget those elements behind these crimes”.

The order by the judiciary chief was considered the first victory for Moussavi and the opposition, especially after many parliament deputies, in the meantime, have voiced concern about the situation of the detainees.


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