Iranian Govt 'extracting false confessions' from arrested protestors: Khatami

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London, Aug. 3 (ANI): Denouncing the "show trial" of protestors arrested after the disputed presidential election, former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has accused the Ahmadinejad Government of "extracting false confessions" from protest leaders. Ten people appeared in court on Sunday after 100 detainees, including Khatami's former deputy, were accused of inciting riots and links to "counter-revolutionary" groups during a televised trial on Saturday. Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the main challenger in the election, said officials had tortured the prisoners.

"What are they trying to convince people of by relying on reports from reporters nobody has heard of and relying on confessions which obviously bore the hallmarks medieval-era torture?" the Telegraph quoted Mousavi, as saying. Khatami, who stood aside from the presidential election in favour of Mousavi, said the trials were an insult to the people.

"The regime and nation were insulted and what we heard in the show trial were repetitions of what we had already heard from special tribunes in violation of legal and religious norms. What was done yesterday is against the constitution, regular laws and rights of the citizens," said Khatami.

Opposition campaigners, including Khatami, were accused in court of plotting a "velvet revolution" during a series of televised hearings of people arrested since the election on June 12. Mohammad Ali Abtahi, an ex vice-president, declared that accusations of poll rigging by the reformists were fabricated.

"I say to all my friends and all friends who hear us, that the issue of fraud in Iran was a lie and was brought up to create riots so Iran becomes like Afghanistan and Iraq and suffers damage and hardship," he said.

The authorities launched the trials just days before the regime will attempt to consolidate its position by formally launching a second term for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recorded a landslide victory in the disputed election. (ANI)

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