Babylon & Beyond

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IRAN: Rights group publishes partial list of those killed, detained

June 24, 2009 | 12:19 pm

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has published a list of the people it says it has been able to confirm were detained or killed since the disputed presidential election on June 12.

Because of the restrictions imposed on journalists and human rights activists in Iran, it is difficult to obtain accurate information on the numbers detained, injured or killed in the unrest triggered by the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a vote opposition supporters say was rigged.

Among the 240 people the New York-based human rights group says were detained are political figures, journalists, university students and faculty. At least 29 of them have been released, it says. The group identifies only four of the dead, but notes that government sources have said at least 27 people were killed. Others put the figure much higher.

“According to information received by the campaign, many of those detained were arrested by plainclothes agents at their homes or other places, not at protests, and taken away in unmarked vehicles, which has led to extreme anxiety on the part of relatives about accountability for their safety,” the group said in a statement Tuesday. “The campaign has not received any reports of arrest warrants being presented, nor have family and friends of those in detention been informed of their whereabouts.”

Also Tuesday, London-based Amnesty International issued a statement calling on the authorities in Iran to recognize the right to peaceful protest.

"The police and security forces, including the volunteer Basij militia, have used excessive force, including beating with truncheons to end demonstrations," the statement said.  "In some cases demonstrators have been shot with live ammunition. The death toll is rising."

-- Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles