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Iranian Nobel Laureate Calls for New Election Under UN Supervision


Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi repeated her call for a fresh election in Iran, held under the supervision of the United Nations.

Speaking during a visit to South Korea, Ebadi said a new presidential election with U.N. oversight could help end the unrest that erupted after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 re-election.

Ebadi made similar comments during a protest speech in Amsterdam last month.

She also asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit Iran to receive a first-hand account of human rights abuses.

The secretary-general Monday sent what his office called a "customary letter" on his inauguration congratulating him, though the text would not be made public.

An ally of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi says 69 people were killed during post-election protests, a figure he based on reports from victims' families.

Ali Reza Beheshti says he submitted the list of 69 names to parliament to investigate and verify the deaths.

The Iranian government has put the death toll in the protests at about 30.

And Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has called for an investigation into allegations that post-election detainees were raped in prison.

Defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi made the allegations in a letter to powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

A judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, told reporters Tuesday that security forces detained about 4,000 people in the aftermath of the election. He said 3,700 of the detained were quickly released.

Dozens of detainees have been tried in mass trials during the past two weeks. Ebadi said these mass judgments are "show trials" that must be stopped.

Iran Tuesday released a French Embassy employee, Nazak Afshar, who was among the defendants involved in one such mass trial.

In a written statement, French President Nicolas Sarkozy continued to demand the release of French lecturer Clotilde Reiss who is being held in the same prison. Both women are charged with espionage and involvement in postelection disturbances.

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