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Iranian Police Clash With Protesters Over Banned Newspaper


Iranian police clashed with protesters who gathered Monday outside the Tehran office of a reformist newspaper, which was recently banned by authorities.

Witnesses say police dispersed dozens of opposition supporters who shouted anti-government slogans outside the office of the National Trust (Etemad Melli), the newspaper of former presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi. Some demonstrators were reportedly arrested.

Aides close to Karoubi say Iran's judiciary ordered a ban on the daily Sunday, after it printed his claims that some election protesters were raped while in custody.

Karoubi angered Iran's hardliners when he said women and young boys had suffered severe physical and mental damage from rapes in detention centers. Iran's parliament speaker rejected the claims as "baseless."

Several small protests have taken place in Iran since the massive unrest following Iran's disputed presidential election, which resulted in the re-election of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran put 28 more detainees on trial Sunday for charges related to the unrest following the June 12 vote. It was the third mass political trial since the election.

Also Sunday, French academic Clotilde Reiss was released from prison on bail after six weeks in an Iranian prison. Reiss, who is accused of spying during post-election demonstrations, is staying at the French embassy in Tehran pending a verdict in her case.

Mehr news agency quoted Tehran's prosecutor as saying Reiss was released on $300,000 bail, which was paid by the French government.

A French embassy employee, Nazak Afshar, faces the same charges and was released from jail last week.

France has dismissed the allegations and called for the release of both women.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has thanked other countries, including Syria, for their help in obtaining Reiss's and Afshar's release.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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