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Iran Puts 28 More Detainees on Trial


Iranian media report that 28 more people have been put on trial for their alleged involvement in the unrest following the presidential election in June. Those in court Sunday are being tried on charges of plotting the violence for years.

The detainees are the latest to face charges in connection with the unrest that swept Tehran and other cities after the disputed election.

In the courtroom on Sunday, the accused were shown video of the protests, with Iranian news channels relaying their reaction. Many detainees appeared stoic, their eyes glued to the video, while others fought back tears at images of protesters clashing with state security during the post-election protests.

Officials have said that some 30 people were killed in the violence, but the opposition puts the number of deaths at nearly 70. It is unclear how many were initially detained over the protests. But hundreds are still behind bars. Protesters alleged that the elections were rigged in favor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is now serving another four years as president.

The judge Sunday read out the charges against the newly accused, which include participation in illegal rallies, vandalizing public property and "hurting" security forces.

This is the third mass trial in recent weeks. Among those at the earlier trials have been high-ranking politicians, a French teacher and Iranian staff at the British and French Embassies.

The Iranian government has defended the trials as legitimate and fair. But opposition leaders have denounced them as "show trials." Rights groups say many detainees have been forced to issue false confessions obtained under harsh interrogations. A detention center in Iran was shut down after reports of abuse.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi, meanwhile, announced the formation of a new social and political movement on his Web site Saturday. He vowed to continue challenging the election outcome in a social movement he named the "Green Path of Hope."

On Sunday, the formation of the new government continued to move ahead.

President Ahmadinejad announced plans for his new Cabinet. It will include three women, the first such appointments in the Islamic republic's 30-year history.


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