Opposition leaders in Iran are calling on the country's top clerics to
help end the crackdown that followed massive protests of Iran's June 12
Defeated presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi
and Mehdi Karroubi, along with former president Mohammad Khatami, sent
a letter to clerics in the holy city of Qom Saturday, comparing the
crackdown to the violent methods employed by the former shah before
the 1979 Islamic revolution.
A statement posted by Karroubi
on his Internet site went even further, accusing Iranian security
agents of using tactics more brutal than those he said were employed by
the Israelis against the Palestinians.
Rights groups say
hundreds of people were detained during the post-election crackdown.
At least 20 people were reported killed during the protests.
reformist Web site Saturday said one of the protesters in custody has
died. He was said to be the son of an advisor to another defeated
presidential candidate, Mohsen Rezaie.
Mousavi and Karroubi say
the June 12 vote was rigged, but Iran's powerful Guardian Council has
since upheld the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
rights supporters gathered in about 80 cities around the world
Saturday, echoing the calls for Iran's leadership to end the crackdown.
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi was expected to speak at one of the rallies in Amsterdam.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.