11/18/2009, 00.00
IRAN

Tehran, five death sentences for anti-government riots

According to the Department of Justice, they are members of "terrorist groups and the opposition." For a further 81 people prison sentences ranging from six months to 15 years. Trials apparently took place "in the presence of the lawyers" of the accused.

Teheran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Five death sentences and 81 people imprisoned; that is the outcome yesterday provided by the Justice Department of Tehran, of its judgments against the protagonists of the anti-government riots last June. Sources of the capital’s attorney general’s office explain that the five are members of "terrorist groups and the opposition."

The disputed re-election of conservative candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the 12 June presidential vote, sparked a public protest; opposition leaders launched accusations of vote rigging by inviting people to take to the streets. In the clashes between protesters and police 30 people were killed, thousands of arrests were made, 200 activists are still detained in jail and on trial.

The Iranian Channel 2 TV reports that the document released yesterday by the Justice Department of Tehran will "stop the rumours regarding detention cases following the elections", the trials it adds were held "in the presence of the lawyers defendants. "To date - says Iranian TV - there have been 89 trials, 81 people were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to 15 years. Five death sentences were handed down against members of terrorist groups and the opposition".

So far, Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani is the only member of the opposition who has been officially sentenced to death. He, along with another activist, whose identity remains unknown, was indicted for ties with the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, a monarchist movement banned in the country. A third activist is accused of belonging to the dissident movement of the Mujahideen.

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