Iran chief prosecutor: charges pending for opposition leaders

Iran chief prosecutor: charges pending for opposition leaders

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[JURIST] Iranian chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi delivered a speech at Tehran University on Friday indicating that he would prosecute opposition leaders for political unrest that took place after the country’s 2009 presidential election [JURIST news archive]. Dolatabadi threatened to prosecute [NYT report] former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi and former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami [BBC profiles]. Mousavi and the other leaders called for continuing protests [JURIST report] to oppose the results of the 2009 presidential election, arguing that it was fraudulent. Dolatabadi referred to the opposition leaders as criminals [WP report] who threatened the country’s security and public trust. Dolatabadi’s remarks echoed those made in a speech delivered the previous day by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [BBC profile], Iran’s highest authority, during a pro-government rally.

The three leaders would join a long line of individuals detained or already prosecuted for their roles during the election protests. In September, Shiva Nazar Ahari, a journalist arrested after the 2009 elections, was sentenced to six years in prison [JURIST report] for charges including “warring against God” and distributing anti-government propaganda. Also in September, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer known for representing political activists following the 2009 election, was detained for allegedly spreading propaganda and colluding against national security [JURIST report]. In August, an Iranian court sentenced Qorban Behzadianejad, Mousavi’s campaign manager, to five years in prison [JURIST report]. The Iranian government detained hundreds of protesters and sentenced several to death [JURIST report]. Khamenei pardoned or commuted the sentences of 81 protesters [JURIST report] in June.