Iran releases prominent opposition figure on bail

TEHRAN, Iran — One of Iran’s most prominent pro-reform figures has been released on bail after more than three months in jail on charges of inciting the country’s postelection unrest, state media and his lawyer said Thursday.

Saeed Hajjarian is considered a top architect and ideologue of the movement pushing for more social and political freedoms in Iran. He is among more than 100 opposition politicians and activists who have been on trial since August on charges of fomenting the street unrest that broke out after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in June.

The state-owned IRAN newspaper reported that authorities released Hajjarian Wednesday on $200,000 bail after he spent 110 days in jail.

His lawyer, Gholamali Riahi, confirmed Hajjarian’s release but would not comment on the reasons behind it, saying only that the court has yet to issue a verdict in the case.

During his testimony, Hajjarian confessed to helping fuel the postelection turmoil and asked for the nation’s forgiveness. The opposition dismissed his and other confessions as coerced.

In the days after the June 12 election, hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters poured into the streets of major Iranian cities to protest what they said was a fraudulent result.

The opposition said at least 72 people died in the ensuing security crackdown on protesters and that many of those detained were abused in custody. The government puts the num… >>>

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