First official probe launched against top Iranian opposition leader
The investigation announced Tuesday, Oct. 13, of one of the three presidential candidates defeated in Iran’s June election looks like the first step toward using the tightly-controlled process of law to persecute the top dissenters who alleged that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in a fraudulent poll. Thousands of demonstrators against the election were arrested, the charges against them including seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime. One of the leading dissenters, former Speaker Mohammed Karroubi, is the first to pay the price for alleging that poltiical detainees and students are subject to rape and the torture.
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Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafar Dolatabadi said his case is under review by the Special Clerical Court whose proceedings are closed and secret. He said that another 10 people would be tried, without giving names.
The threat moves closer to Karroubi’s two fellow dissenters, Mir Hossein Mousavi and former president Mohammad Khatami as well as the powerful ex-president Hashemi Rafsanjani who has backed them.
All four opposition figures have been muzzled. Charging them would open a new front by the regime to destroy the opposition movements by throwing them into jail for long stretches.
Iran’s clerical regime is clearly taking advantage of the shift of international spotlight to diplomacy on its nuclear program to ramp up its brutal crackdown on the opposition.