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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Iran: More Protests, More Beatings, More Arrests

Riot police clashed with hundreds of pro-reform protesters in Tehran and arrested dozens of them yesterday, a witness said, in the latest unrest over last month's disputed election.

Demonstrators were chanting slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the government, including: "Ahmadinejad – resign, resign" and "Death to dictators".

The witness said police beat protesters who had gathered in Haft-e Tir square in central Tehran, in defiance of a ban on such demonstrations put in place after the 12 June election, which the opposition says was rigged in favour of Mr Ahmadinejad.

"Riot police are taking dozens of protesters into their cars and they are taking them away," the witness said. "There are hundreds of riot police and plain clothes [security forces], beating people who gathered to support [opposition leader Mirhossein] Mousavi."

The clash erupted four days after similar confrontations between police and protesters for the first time in weeks on Friday after the former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani declared the Islamic Republic in crisis and said there were doubts about the election result. The authorities reject opposition charges of vote-rigging.

link: Police 'beat' pro-Mousavi protesters - Middle East, World - The Independent


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