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Iran opposition leaders call for protesters release

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An Iranian protester residing in Japan makes a peace sign with a green band, the symbolic colour of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, in Tokyo June 28, 2009.


Iran opposition leaders call for protesters release

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian opposition leaders urged the authorities to free those detained during post-election protests and criticised the “security state” imposed in Iran, defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi’s website said on Tuesday.

“Mehdi Karoubi, Mousavi and (former president Mohammad) Khatami met on Monday and underlined the importance of ending the imposed security state in the country and also the immediate release of detained protesters,” the website reported.

Mousavi and Karoubi, moderate candidates in the June 12 presidential election, have denounced the result of the poll, which saw hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected.

Iran’s most powerful figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has upheld the result.

The opposition leaders also said arrests, which began on June 13, should stop.

“The continuation of arrests and the security state will lead to a more radicalised political atmosphere,” they said, adding that the “wave of arrests should end”.

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Nobel winner seeks U.N. human rights envoy for Iran

555Iran’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi addresses a speech during a demonstration against the presidential election in Iran outside the European Parliament in Brussels June 24, 2009.

Nobel winner seeks U.N. human rights envoy for Iran

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iranian Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi called on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday to appoint a personal envoy to investigate human rights abuses in Iran.

In a letter also signed by the rights groups International Federation for Human Rights and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights, Ebadi asked Ban to appoint the envoy to look into abuses in Iran following June’s disputed presidential election.

A spokesman for Ban said the letter had been received by his office. Ban currently is on a trip to Myanmar in a bid to get the military junta there to release all political prisoners and prepare for credible elections next year.

The letter said Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, had made the request to Ban directly in a telephone conversation on June 23, eleven days after Iran’s election. The United Nations at the time disclosed the conversation but did not mention the request for a human rights envoy.

Ebadi was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights, in particular the rights of women and children.

Action by Iranian security forces against demonstrators who charged that the election had been rigged in favor of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad drew condemnation from Western countries and from Ban. Iranian authorities said the vote was fair.

“We would like … to reiterate our call upon you to name a Personal Envoy for Iran,” the letter said.

“Such an envoy would benefit from your authority in the relations with the Iranian authorities, an authority which is denied to human rights groups from Iran or from abroad in the context of this active repression,” the letter said.

The June 12 election pitted hard-liner Ahmadinejad against Mirhossein Mousavi. In the aftermath of the vote, which drew the most vigorous organized protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution, state media said 20 people died in violence.

Ebadi has called on Ahmadinejad to prosecute those who shot protesters and pay compensation to their families while also calling for fresh elections held with U.N. observers.

(Additional reporting by Patrick Worsnip)

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Iran orders end to election activities

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been officially declared as the winner of the June 12 presidential election in Iran.

Iran orders end to election activities

Following the conclusion of a probe into the complaints into the 10th presidential elections in Iran, the Interior Ministry has ordered all election headquarters to end their activities.

“Any activities by the election headquarters in provinces, cities and districts will no longer have a legal basis,” warned the ministry.

The Guardian Council — Iran’s electoral watchdog — told Press TV on Tuesday that the body has had its ‘final say’ on the issue and has closed the file on the election upon verifying the vote result. According to Guardian Council spokesperson Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, no other complaints will be investigated.

After incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the 10th election with almost two-thirds of the votes, defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi rejected the result as fraudulent and demanded a re-run.

The Guardian Council did not agree to a re-run but did give its response to complaints. Since commencing its investigation into the issue, the electoral watchdog conducted a random recount of 10 percent of the votes and confirmed the appointment of Ahmadinejad as president.

Mousavi, the main rival of the president, had earlier rejected the offer of a partial recount and refused to appoint a representative to the special committee appointed by the council.

Karroubi also shunned the commission over what he described as the “lack of impartiality” among the committee members, some of whom have publicly supported President Ahmadinejad. The other presidential candidate, Mohsen Rezaei, did not send a representative to the commission either.

The opposition to the measures to ensure the authenticity of the vote has prompted top officials in Tehran to demand that the candidates respect the process determined by the law on the issue of election complaints.

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