Iran News ...


6/29/03

Iran to try next week some of those detained in recent unrest

Iran will carry to dock some of those arrested during recent unrest in Tehran and several other cities, head of Tehran Justice Department, Abbasali Alizadeh, said in Tehran on Saturday, IRNA reported.

"The prosecution of this group will be held at a competent court as soon as probe into their file is complete," he told reporters after paying homage to the Islamic Revolution's founder, late Imam Khomeini, at his mausoleum south of Tehran.

The fate of the rest will be established once investigations are final, Alizadeh added.

The announcement came as officials said the riots had fizzled out in the wake of measures taken by the country's security and intelligence officials.

Media have already quoted the state prosecutor general, Abdon-Nabi Namazi, as saying that police had detained 4,000 people across the country in connection with the unrest.

The Persian daily Kayhan on Saturday cited Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi as saying that the judiciary would also deal with any MP who was found guilty of instigating recent unrest.

The warning serves a serious challenge to parliament deputies who enjoy immunity from prosecution in their own words, as long as in office. It also comes amid accusations that some of parliamentarians had provoked the unrest.

The riots followed a peaceful gathering of students in protest to perceived privatization of state universities, which officials have rejected, and took an ugly turn when vigilantes attacked students.

The unrest prompted the government to jump the gun and ban students from taking out any protest rallies during next month's anniversary of July 9, 1999 unrest.

A peaceful gathering at the Tehran University campus, held in protest to a court's banning of a newspaper in July 1999, degenerated into several days of clashes after vigilantes attacked students.

State officials, including Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have said that Washington was behind riots in the Islamic Republic and accused it of "blatant interference in the country's internal affairs" through provoking the unrest.

Police have said maximum security had been restored following the unrest and vowed to "stand up with full force to those who seek to jeopardize the country's security".

Former Judiciary head, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, has called on Iranian courts to treat rioters as 'enemies of God', a charge which could in the worst case carry a death sentence.

Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, however, has ruled aside the plea, saying "It is not possible to label anybody as Mohareb" or those who fight against God. He has also said that the arrested students must instead be treated with maximum 'Islamic compassion'.

Officials have also said that most of those who stirred up the unrest were "thugs and hooligans" and that very few students were among those arrested.

Also, among those detained are agents who worked for 'foreign countries' and passed information to foreign televisions as well as several sympathizers of terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization.

Press, citing officials, has also implicated some of nationalist-religious activists - advocates of liberal Freedom Movement of Iran - which is outlawed, in the unrest.

... Payvand News - 6/29/03 ... --



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