Iran opposition leader requests open, public trial

[JURIST] Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi [NYT profile; JURIST news archive] called Sunday for his own trial to be set up in a public court. In an open letter to the head of the Supreme Judicial System of Iran [GlobaLex backgrounder], Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani [official website, in Farsi], posted on his website Saham News [website, in Persian], Karroubi asked for a public forum in order to ensure a fair trial [AFP report] in defense of the Iranian people. Karroubi was unable to deliver the letter in person as he has been under house arrest [JURIST report] since earlier this month. Iranian security forces reportedly took control of the area outside of Karroubi's residence and barred all family members, except his wife, from entering. The report indicated that the arrest was related to calls by Karroubi for rallies in support of the recent political reform movements in Tunisia and Egypt [CFR backgrounder].

Last week, Iranian lawmakers called for Karroubi and two other opposition leaders, Mir-Hossein Mousavi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and former reformist president Mohammad Khatami [BBC profile] to face trial and death after Monday's clash with security forces. Thousands of Iranians protested last week in solidarity with Egypt's revolt against ousted president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile]. Pro-government legislators demanded [AP report] the men be held responsible for the protests, which resulted in one death and numerous injuries. Monday's protests in Iran were the first demonstrations since December 2009, following the disputed presidential elections [JURIST news archive] that gave Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website] a second term.

 

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