Five Iranian Opposition Members Released on Bail
Five opposition members, including 66-year-old university professor Gholam-Abbas, have been released on bail Wednesday, four days after the weekend arrest of 42 dissidents in Tehran and several other cities, reported the official IRNA news agency, citing a press report.
The reformist daily Hambastegi said that Abbas has been released after posting a 500-million-rial bail.
Other freed nationalists were 84-year-old Sadr Haj-Seyed Javadi, a former justice minister, and Abouzari (known only by surname) in Tehran as well as Hossein Razmjou and Ali Gorji in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
On Wednesday, Ali Mobasheri, head of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, told the state TV that several detainees whose cases seemed to be without foundation would be freed by Thursday, said IRNA.
The detainees, mostly linked to now-banned Freedom Movement of Iran, are charged with "seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime."
Seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime amounts to Moharaba (waging war against Islam and the Islamic state), a charge carrying death penalty under Iran's Islamic penal code.
But Iran's interior ministry has rejected charges of "seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime" leveled against the 42 Islamic nationalists arrested in Tehran and several other cities, a reliable source at the ministry said Tuesday.
"According to the documents on hand in the intelligence ministry, the detainees have not been conspiring to topple the Islamic regime," the unnamed source said.
He said that the judiciary has acted "independently" and that the intelligence ministry has played no role in the mass arrest.
In the latest reaction, over 150 Iranian MPs protested on Wednesday against the treatment of dozens of detained dissidents, saying they were held in unknown locations and denied access to lawyers, the agency added.
In a letter read out in the parliament, the reformist deputies also questioned charges of "plotting to overthrow the system" that have been brought against the detainees. "Take action to bring an end to these unlawful acts," the letter to judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi said.
The letter also criticized Revolutionary Court employees, saying their treatment of the dissident's relatives was "disrespectful, indecent and inhuman."
President Mohammed Khatami has also condemned the arrests – Albawaba.com
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