Report of secret burials in Iran brings call for inquiry

Reporting from Beirut – An Iranian lawmaker vowed today to examine allegations that dozens of unidentified people killed in the recent post-election unrest were secretly buried in the country’s largest cemetery last month.

The reformist website on Friday cited an unnamed employee of the capital’s Behesht Zahra cemetery as saying that 44 unidentified corpses were buried under heavy security July 12 and 15.

Majid Nasirpour, a reformist lawmaker who serves on parliament’s Social Affairs Committee, filed a request for an inquiry into the mass burial allegation, the website reported.

“This news story needs to be verified,” he told the website today. “I will ask the committee to investigate the allegations.” The number of those killed in weeks of violence is a source of controversy: Iranian officials claim that as few as 20 died, with nine of them pro-government militiamen. Iranian opposition figures say that at least 69 have been killed, while Western officials in Tehran estimate the number of those dead nationwide to be in the hundreds.

Norooznews, the online incarnation of a respected newspaper shut down by authorities in 2002, said it had obtained the registration numbers of the burial permits to back up its claim. The website had reported earlier that bodies were piled up at a mortuary in sou… >>>

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