Iran opposition leader urges prosecution for 2009 election fraud

[JURIST] Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi [BBC backgrounder] on Tuesday called for the prosecution of those who committed fraud during the 2009 presidential election [JURIST news archive] and vowed to continue leading the resistance movement against incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website]. The statement was posted on Mousavi's website [website, in Persian] following the June 12 anniversary of the election and outlined new policy goals for the opposition movement, including an independent judiciary, an end to military force in politics and the abrogation of Islamic extremism. Mousavi called for those responsible for the "fraudulent" elections to stand trial [AFP report]. He also stated that officials responsible for the death and torture of protesters in the wake of the 2009 elections should be prosecuted. Since last year's election the opposition has claimed that Ahmadinejad won the election through vote tampering and has mounted massive protests claiming Mousavi as the rightful winner. The government responded with violent crackdowns leaving several protesters dead and thousands incarcerated. Protesters appeared more subdued on the one year anniversary of the presidential election as there were no signs of major disturbances or sizable gatherings.

The Iranian government arrested hundreds in a crackdown on anti-government activity in the wake of protests over the re-election of Ahmadinejad last June, drawing criticism from international human rights groups and advocacy organizations. A Tehran Revolutionary Court [official website, in Persian] in April sentenced [JURIST report] three prominent progressive activists to six years in prison in connection with protests. The men were high-ranking officials of the Islamic Iran Participation Front [party website, in Farsi], a pro-democracy reformist political party that supported opposition leader Mousavi in the disputed election. Iranian authorities jailed prominent Iranian journalist Mohammad Nourizad and reform movement leader Hossein Marashi [JURIST reports] on similar charges in April and March, respectively. Also in March, an Iranian appeals court upheld [JURIST report] the death sentence of 20-year-old student Mohammad Amin Valian, who took part in anti-government protests in December. In February, the US and EU jointly issued a statement condemning [JURIST report] Iran's action against protesters and political dissenters. Earlier this month, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official website; BBC profile] pardoned or commuted the sentences of 81 protesters [JURIST report] arrested following the disputed election. The pardons were made upon the request of the head of the Supreme Judicial System of Iran [GlobaLex backgrounder], Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani [official website, in Farsi], who described the pardoned protesters as repentant.

 

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