Intellectuals Denounce ‘Arbitrary’ Trials And Arrests In Iran
A group of 369 intellectuals, writers as well as liberal and nationalist Iranian politicians, have denounced the "continuing trials and the arbitrary arrests" in Iran in a statement received by AFP Sunday.
These public figures from literary, artistic and political circles protested against the arrests of several people, including the long-standing leading light of the progressist opposition Ezzatollah Sahabi, and Nasser Zarafshan, a lawyer for the families of intellectuals murdered in 1998.
In their petition, the signatories warned the Iranian authorities of "an aggravation of political tensions" in the country.
The signatories also denounced the arrest of Ali Afshari, one of the main pro-reformist student leaders, and of Said Montazeri, the son of dissident Iranian cleric ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri.
Said's 78-year-old father was Imam Khomeiny's natural heir to the role of supreme leader, but in 1989 ayatollah Ali Khamenei was selected instead.
Sahabi and Afshari were placed in custody last week for "insulting the Guide" of the Islamic republic of Iran, Khamenei.
Zarafshan was the lawyer for the families of Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh, two of the five intellectuals murdered two years ago, for their connections with the secular opposition in Iran.
A closed trial of 18 of the suspected murderers began Saturday, in Tehran's military court. One of them is being tried posthumously -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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