08/25/2009, 00.00
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Tehran, fourth “mass trial" against opponents of the regime

On trial several members of Iran's main reformist party and associates of former President Khatami, charged with having organized and fomented anti-government riots. Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, suspected of murder and torture, appointed Attorney General of the Republic.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Activists and reformers were in the dock today in Tehran, in the fourth mass trial brought by the Iranian regime against the protagonists of anti-government riots. The accusation is of having orchestrated the protests that bloodied the country's presidential elections on 12 June, won by the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The non-violent demonstrations, protesting election fraud,  were violently suppressed by hooligans from the bassij and Pasdaran at the service of Ahmadinejad.

Several defendants are members of Mosharekat, the main reformist party in the country. On its website, the movement accuses the Tribunal of the Iranian revolution of staging yet another "show trial" and denounces an increasingly "threatening" national leadership.  They are charged with having "organized and fomented the protests and riots" in recent weeks, during which dozens of people died. 

On trial are, among others, Mostafa Tajzadeh, former deputy interior minister, Mohsen Aminzadeh, a former deputy foreign minister, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, a former government spokesman. Saaed Hajjarian, former deputy minister of intelligence, who became the main architect of the reform movement in Iran, also appeared before the court.  

Many senior officials charged with crimes held office between 1997 and 2005, under President Khatami. In the last election he supported the moderate leader Mir Hossein Moussavi. Recently, a high official of the Revolutionary Guards accused him of having orchestrated, with Moussavi and Khatami - almost the entire "reformist" leadership - a "velvet revolution" to overthrow the regime.

International analysts have labelled the trial an attempt to eradicate domestic moderate opposition. In recent weeks more than 140 people have appeared before the judges, at the other three "mass trials" that so far have not led to any sentence.    

Human rights activists have condemned the arrests of hundreds of people including journalists, activists and lawyers, many of whom remain in detention and are victims of abuse, torture and sexual violence. The regime is also charged with having killed opponents locked up in jail.

Yesterday, in conclusion, Sadeq Larijani, brother of the parliament speaker and head of the neo-Iranian judiciary appointed Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, former minister of intelligence of the Ahmadinejad administration, Attorney General of the Republic. Sources of internal resistance accuse him of mass executions, assassinations and torture of opponents.

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