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Iran authorities arrest academics affiliated with Mousavi: report

[JURIST] Iranian authorities arrested 70 members of the Islamic Association of University Teachers after they met with opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi [IranTracker profile] on Wednesday, according to a statement [text, in Persian] on Mousavi's website [personal website, in Persian]. The professors met to discuss the recent unrest [statement, in Persian] in the country and were reportedly arrested immediately after the meeting. According to the posting, there is no information available about where the academics were transferred. Mousavi plans to continue his protests [CBC report] over the recent presidential election [BBC backgrounder], maintaining that the election results were fraudulent. According to reports, Mousavi has been placed under house arrest [AKI report] in an attempt to isolate him from reformist protesters. Mousavi alleges [statement, in Persian] that his websites have been experiencing problems and that the Kalameh Sabz newspaper has been shut down and all of its editors arrested.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official profile; BBC profile] on Wednesday granted a request [JURIST report] from the Guardian Council of the Constitution [official website, in Persian] to accept new complaints from opposition candidates for five more days. Although Khamenei will hear the candidates' grievances, he told legislators Wednesday that the government will not succumb to pressure [AP report] over the election results. Mousavi supporters protested in Tehran and elsewhere after the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], reportedly resulting in at least 17 deaths and hundreds of arrests [JURIST report]. Following the Guardian Council's investigation, they conceded that the number of votes exceeded the number of voters in 50 voting districts but explained that the discrepancy could be due to voters' ability to vote anywhere in the country. Human rights groups have viewed the arrests as political repression [JURIST report], saying that Iranian forces are using the protests to "engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals."

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