Amir-Entezam to be put on trial, finally
TEHRAN, Feb 15 (AFP) - A minister in Iran's first post-revolutionary
government is to go on trial here Tuesday charged with slander, his wife
Abbas Amir-Entezam, regarded as a liberal, was detained last September
after making critical statements about the former head of the Evin prison
near Tehran, Assadollah Ladjevardi, who was assassinated in August.
The Swiss-based International Commission of Jurists issued a statement
protesting at the refusal of the Iranian authorities to issue visa to a
Swiss lawyer who wanted to observe the trial.
"We are asking for justice, that is all we want," said Elaheh
Amir-Entezam, the accused's wife.
Amir-Entezam has already served a 17 year sentence for spying, a charge
he always denied, and is considered the country's longest-serving political
prisoner. He had enjoyed only a brief spell of freedom before his re-arrest.
A number of human rights organisations have expressed their support
for him, and last year he was awarded the Austrian Bruno Kreisky prize
for human rights.
Amir-Entezam was a deputy prime minister and government spokesman in
the provisional government headed by Mehdi Bazargan after the overthrow
of the Shah in February 1979.