Iran military court charges 12 over death of protesters in prison

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Beirut (Lebanon), Dec. 20 (ANI): A military court in Iran has charged twelve prison officials with murder and other crimes for the death of at least three protesters in prison after the disputed presidential election in June.

A New York Times report said that the court's statement followed months of denials by the police and prosecutors, who grudgingly conceded that some torture had taken place but attributed the deaths to meningitis or other illnesses.

The statement has been posted on the website of ISNA, a semi-official news agency, and represents a vindication for the Iranian opposition, whose leaders have long accused the government of covering up savage abuses during the post-election crackdown.

Opposition leaders say at least 73 people were killed in the unrest. The government has given varying totals, from 17 to 30, including members of its own security forces.

Some in the opposition and abroad were, however, sceptical that the charges would lead to justice.

The military court did not name the defendants.

The deaths provoked outrage among conservatives as well as reformists, especially after the son of a prominent conservative political figure, Mohsen Ruholamini, died after being tortured in detention.

Opposition leaders also claimed that some of the detainees were raped. (ANI)

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