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Iran Begins Show Trials Of Protesters

From an understanding Reuters:

Iran tries 100 moderates over election unrest

By Parisa Hafezi And Zahra Hosseinian

TEHRAN (Reuters) – The trials began on Saturday of 100 prominent moderates arrested shortly after Iran’s disputed June presidential election and charged with trying to overthrow the clerical establishment, Iranian media reported.

This is the first time since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution that dozens of senior officials, including former ministers, vice-presidents and lawmakers, have been put on trial.

The official IRNA news agency quoted the indictment as saying the charges against the defendants also included acting against national security by planning unrest, participating in the "Velvet Revolution," attacking military and state buildings and conspiring against the ruling system.

"The trial of some of those accused of being involved in post-election unrest started this morning," IRNA said. "Some 100 people were put on trial in a Tehran Revolutionary court."

Velvet Revolution was used to describe the non-violent 1989 revolution in Czechoslovakia which overturned communist rule.

Under Iran’s Islamic law, acting against national security, a common charge against dissenting voices in Iran, could be punishable by the death penalty

State television showed footage of the courtroom with many young defendants, some handcuffed, and vice-president Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzadeh and former MP Mohsen Mirdamadi in prison uniform.

On trial are also prominent members of Iran’s leading moderate parties, founded by former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami. Both are backers of moderate defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi.

The indictment said: "These parties planned, organized and led the illegal gatherings and riots," IRNA reported.

"The Participation front had contacts with a British spy," the agency said, referring to Islamic Iran’s Participation Front, the main pro-reform party set up by Khatami…

Hardline semi-official Fars news agency said at least four prominent reformers now said that the vote was not rigged.

"Former vice-presidents Mohammad Ali Abtahi and Mohsen Safai-Farahani, former Industries Minister Behzad Nabavi, (Iranian-Canadian journalist) Maziar Bahari and former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh have confessed that the issue of fraud in the Iran vote was baseless," Fars reported.

Bahari, who came to Iran to cover the vote for Newsweek, has said that he took cash from Britain’s Channel Four television for sending footage of unrest, Fars said, adding he had told reporters that foreign media were involved in the unrest.

Fars also said detained Iranian photographers Majid Saeedi, who worked for Getty Images, and Satiar Emami had said they sold pictures of "riots" to British and French media.

IRNA said Kian Tajbakhsh, a U.S. citizen who in 2007 was accused of spying and detained for four months, was among those who were tried on Saturday for being involved in the unrest. Tajbakhsh was detained in early July in Tehran.

"The post-election developments were planned from a year ago by Americans," Tajbakhsh told IRNA after the trial.

Iran released on Tuesday 140 detained protesters with "minor charges" from Tehran’s Evin prison, 250 others remained in jail.

What a great way to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Iran Begins Show Trials Of Protesters”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Coming to a Tea Party near you!

  2. beautyofreason says:

    I suppose they will give those protesters a big dose of Mr. A’s “Islamic mercy” now that the guards have beaten, threatened, and killed the inmates to their heart’s content. The fun’s about over, time to show the world your “we are just” poker face – and keep those centrifuges spinning!

  3. canary says:

    anniversary of the soft on terror Jimmy Carter days. Obama is numb to barbarism, him and buddy Bill Ayers’s get off on human suffering

  4. proreason says:

    What’s the problem. Obamy and the commiecrats are planning their own show trials right now.

  5. Confucius says:

    Well, there is something to be said for trying “moderates over election unrest.”

    Let’s start with David Frum and Peggy Noonan.

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