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Iran reformist unveils case of raped detainee

An Iranian opposition leader has revealed details about a prisoner raped by his jailers in the country's postelection crackdown.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An Iranian opposition leader has revealed details about a prisoner raped by his jailers in the country's postelection crackdown.

Mahdi Karroubi says he will detail more cases if authorities continue to deny his allegations.

Karroubi posted to his party's Web site a statement by an unidentified male prisoner describing his rape in prison. The victim says a doctor verified his claims.

Allegations of torture have become a major embarrassment for Iran's clerical leadership after the fierce crackdown that crushed pro-opposition protests following the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said on Thursday that he was ready to consider any documents submitted by Karroubi.

Authorities reject claims as 'baseless'
Karroubi, who came fourth in the vote, has come under fire from hardliners for making the allegation, which the authorities have rejected as "baseless."

"He can pursue these issues and we are prepared to consider their documents and proofs," IRNA news agency quoted Larijani as saying last week.

"We have no interest in keeping any part of this issue concealed from the public."

But the parliament's own committee of investigation into postelection events had "not come across the issues that Mr. Karroubi raised."

Some hardliners have called for Karroubi to be arrested or tried if he fails to prove his allegations. Last week, he said some of those arrested had been killed under torture.

Support from Mousavi
Opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, who came second in the vote, lent support to Karroubi last week and accused "establishment agents" of raping and abusing detainees, according to a reformist website.

Mousavi and Karroubi say the election was rigged to secure the re-election of the hardline president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, something Ahmadinejad and his allies, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, deny.

Iran arrested thousands of people in the postelection protests, its worst street unrest since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

At least 200 people remain in jail, including senior moderate politicians, activists, lawyers and journalists. The country has this month begun three mass trials of reformist activists and protesters, including a former vice-president and former ministers.

The poll and its turbulent aftermath have plunged Iran into its biggest internal crisis since the revolution, exposing deepening divisions within its ruling elite and also further straining relations with the West.

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