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UK embassy employee in Tehran charged: lawyer

[JURIST] Hossein Rassam, a chief political analyst working for the British Embassy in Iran [official website], has been charged with "acting against the national security," his lawyer said Saturday. Rassam was one of nine Iranian employees of the British Embassy arrested last month for his role in the riots following the Iranian election. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of Iran's Guardian Council [official website, in Persian], announced Friday that some members of the embassy staff would be charged [JURIST report]. Eight of the nine prisoners have been released, however, and only Rassam faces charges [Times report]. Jannati cited as evidence [Telegraph report] a March report by a website affiliated with the UK Foreign Office [official website] warning travelers of potential violence in Iran following June's elections. Rassam lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi said he has not yet been allowed to see his client, but hopes to arrange a meeting with him soon.

The post-election protests reportedly resulted in at least 17 deaths and hundreds of arrests [JURIST report]. Iranian authorities have said that those arrested would be dealt with by the courts [Reuters report]. Human rights groups have characterized the arrests as political repression [JURIST report], saying that Iranian authorities are using the protests to "engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals."

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