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Iran chief prosecutor urges sedition trials for election protest leaders

[JURIST] Iran's Prosecutor-General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei [GlobalSecurity profile] on Monday called for sedition trials against leaders of protests following last June's contested presidential election [JURIST news archive]. In a statement to Tehran prosecutors [Reuters report], Ejei said that he supported calls by religious and civil authorities to try those who led anti-government protests for "mohareb,"or warring against God, which is punishable by execution. In a letter [text, in Persian] addressed to the Iranian people, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi [NYT profile] said that he would not be deterred [AFP report] from continuing to push for reform by threats of prosecution. On Sunday, an Iranian parliamentary committee released [Mehr report] the results of an investigation into claims by Karroubi that those arrested during the protests were subject to sexual abuse while in custody. Although the committee found no convincing evidence of sexual abuse, it did fault former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi for sending detainees to Kahrizak prison, where they were subject to beatings, cramped conditions, and ill treatment that resulted in the deaths of at least three detainees.

The Iranian government has faced significant international scrutiny for its handling of the post-election protests and treatment of thousands arrested as a result. Last month, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] labeled [JURIST report] human rights violations committed by the Iranian government following the election among the worst of the past 20 years. In September, human rights groups called for [JURIST report] the UN General Assembly [official website] to appoint a special envoy to investigate allegations of rights violations. Alleged human rights abuses of detainees include sexual assault, beatings, and forced confessions [JURIST reports].

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