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Iran Puts 16 More Protesters On Trial

Source: RFE/RL

Iran's state media reports that 16 more opposition activists have been put on trial in Tehran today in connection with postelection protests in late December. The official IRNA news agency says five of the defendants are accused of being "mohareb" (enemies of  God) and "corrupt on earth." Both are crimes punishable by death under the Iranian legal system, which is based on Islamic Shari'a law.

Poster says: Green Movement, Peace & Freedom Movement
Iran's opposition movement is promising more protests on
February 11, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

The rest are accused of "gathering and conspiring against security, propaganda against the system, and seeking to harm security by inciting unrest and riot," it said.

The trial comes as Amnesty International, along with the United States, the European Union, and the British government, on January 29 condemned the executions in Iran of two men who were sentenced to death in trials after June's disputed Iranian presidential election.

Since August, Iran's hardline government has tried more than 100 political activists. Eleven people were sentenced to death. More than 80 others have received prison terms.

Basij militants shooting at protesters during Ashura protests in Tehran on December 27

The opposition supporters have ignored repeated orders and threats by authorities to stop protesting. They have continued to hold rallies despite government's refusal to issue them permits. At least 8 people were killed by security forces during the Ashura protests in Tehran on December 27 when the security forces opened fire on them and in some cases ran over them with police cars. The protesters fought back firecely in response to the attack by security forces and Basij militia.

Iranian opposition leaders have condemned this week's execution of two dissidents.

Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi said the January 28 hangings of Mohammad Reza Ali  Zamani and Arash Rahmani Pour were aimed at scaring people away from taking part in protests anticipated for February 11, when Iran marks the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The opposition leaders, quoted by Karrubi's website, also agreed that the pair executed this week appeared to have been arrested months before the June 12 presidential election and had nothing to do with the violence.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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