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Grand Ayatollah Montazeri advises Iran officials to end oppression

10/01/09 Report Source: Radio Zamaneh

Reformist cleric Ayatollah Hoseinali Montazeri persists in his criticism of the Iranian government through his public statements. This time he warned Islamic Republic officials to draw lessons from the fate of the governments of Iran's late Mohammad Reza Shah and world despots before it is too late.

Ayatollah Hoseinali Montazeri

He added that it is not possible to govern through "oppression, fear and a police state" filling prisons with thinkers and freedom-seekers.

In a letter to Ayatollah Montazeri, the Association of Reformist Women has expressed their alarm over the mistreatment of detainees in Iranian prisons. "We Muslim women have no assurance for our safety and do not know what will become of us if we fall into the hands of strangers and the irreligious?" the letter reads. The reformist group writes that in the present situation the moral and religious security of women is under threat. The letter goes on to say: "We are concerned for the future of our children because they are startled by actions of the government that compromises its legitimacy, and we as parents have no answers for them."

Ayatollah Montazeri responded to the Association of Reformist Women saying: "Some are tested through governing and managing the affairs until they reveal how far they are dedicated to the Islamic values."

Following the June presidential elections, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announced victory caused an eruption of nationwide protests. Unofficial reports of vote fraud circulated all over the media bringing supporters of reform in Iran to join street protest in all the major cities of Iran.

The government attacked protesters causing tens of deaths and hundreds of injuries. Of the 4000 detainees of the post-election turmoil, 300 are still in prison and by many accounts subject to severe torture and pressure.

Ayatollah Montazeri and several other prominent clerics have spoken out against these hostilities. In addition to the Association of Reformist Women, Islamic Iran Participation Front, Organization of Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution, Executives of Construction Party, Association of Combatant Clerics, Association of Qom Scholars and Researchers and several other groups have condemned the government violence in the post-election events.

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