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Iranian Judiciary Investigating Detainee Rape Allegations

By VOA News
13 October 2009

Iranian state media say Iran's judiciary is looking into defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi's allegations that some imprisoned opposition supporters were raped and abused.

Reports Tuesday quote Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying an investigative committee has prepared a file on the abuse allegations and has given it to the prosecutor's office.

Karroubi is an Iranian cleric. Because of this, the prosecutor said anything dealing with Karroubi or his allegations should be dealt with in a special clergy court that is part of the country's judicial system.

In July, Karroubi claimed in a letter to a powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani that women and young boys had suffered severe physical and mental damage from rapes in detention centers.

Iran's parliament says it has already investigated the claims and found no evidence of sexual abuse.

In related news, Iran's official news agency IRNA reports that the parents of one Iranian woman have sued Karroubi in a special clerical court, accusing him of spreading derogatory falsehoods.

Karroubi is reported to have said that their daughter was arrested in post-election unrest and raped and murdered in prison. The parents say their daughter is alive and well, and was not involved in post-election protests.

In August, the Web site of Karroubi's political party said Iranian authorities had temporarily banned a Karroubi-owned newspaper after it printed his claims that some election protesters were raped while in custody.

Massive street protests broke out in Tehran following the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June.

Thousands of protesters were arrested during the street demonstrations, and rights groups say many remain in jail. Dozens of people were killed in the unrest.

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