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Iranian Nobel Laureate Calls for New Election Under UN Supervision

By VOA News
11 August 2009

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.

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.

A French lecturer, Clotilde Reiss, is among the defendants involved in one such mass trial. Iran's ambassador to France, Seyed Mehdi Miraboutalebi, told French radio Radio France Internationale, that Tehran is offering to allow the Frenchwoman to reside in the French Embassy during the trial. He said France has not yet responded to that offer.

Reiss is charged with espionage for gathering information about the protests, taking pictures and sending them abroad. The state-run IRNA news agency says she confessed to her "mistakes."

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

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