In Iran the trials have begun of prominent moderates arrested shortly after the country’s controversial presidential election in June. They are charged with fomenting unrest.
The disputed election on June the 12th plunged the country into turmoil not seen for decades. It has also put the spotlight on serious divisions in the ruling elite. Riot police fired tear gas and arrested some of the thousands of pro-reform demonstrators who gathered in the capital Teheran on Thursday to mourn those killed in post-election clashes. Moderate presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi claims the vote was rigged in favour of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The authorities deny the charges. Media reports in Iran indicate that some of those arrested have been accused of acting against national security. This is a common charge used against dissenters who could even face the death penalty. Rights groups claim that among those detained since the election are senior pro-reform politicians, activists, lawyers and journalists. Earlier this week Iran’s top judge ordered the judiciary to prosecute the cases of the arrested protestors.