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Iran MPs denounce intelligence ministry

TEHRAN, July 29 (AFP) - Iranian MPs condemned the intelligence ministry Thursday for its "unconstitutional" treatment of those arrested over the Tehran riots amid a tough propaganda campaign against pro-democracy activists.

"The ministry's statements about the university protests and the events that followed are obviously unconstitutional and violate the rights of those arrested," current and former MPs said in a letter published Thursday.

The deputies, calling themselves the Organisation of Past and Present Parliaments, said intelligence officials had already judged the students guilty "without observing the proper and necessary legal procedures."

The letter appeared in several moderate papers unsigned but group officials toldits director is Hossein Hashemian, a senior cleric with the powerful Council of Experts, nominally charged with naming Iran 's supreme leader.

An attorney for leading dissident Mohsen Kadivar, Ayatollah Hossein Mussavi Tabrizi, is also a member of the 300-strong group, a spokesman said.

The intelligence ministry has launched an intimidating propaganda campaign against those accused of staging the six days of unrest, which erupted earlier this month after a student protest was attacked by security forces.

State television has repeatedly broadcast videotaped "confessions" of activists whom the ministry accuses of being "counter- revolutionaries" -- a charge which carries the death penalty.

The ministry has also issued a series of unusually detailed lists of the most prominent activists arrested which state directly that those in question are guilty.

More than 1,400 people were jailed in connection with the disturbances and Iranian officials say most of those have been released.

But the ministry warned that some of those would be re-arrested once an investigation into the incidents is complete.

President Mohammad Khatami said Tuesday that only 10 percent of those arrested were students.

The unrest was the worst in Tehran since the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution, leaving one person dead and three wounded, according to official figures.

Moderate newspapers said five people died and dozens were injured, many of whom they said were later abducted from Tehran hospitals by the secret police.


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