Iran to try 5 protesters it detained

(01-07) 07:00 PST TEHRAN, Iran (AP) —

Five protesters who were detained in late December will soon stand trial in Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported Thursday.

The report said the five will face a revolutionary court, which ordinarily deals with security charges. The report did not elaborate when the trial will begin and what charges the protesters face.

Iranian judicial officials last week said some detainees could face the death penalty.

At least eight people died in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters late last month. It was the worst bloodshed since the height of the unrest immediately after the contested June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In a relevant report, the semi-official Mehr news agency on Thursday quoted Alaeddin Broujerdi, head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, as saying the top diplomat at the embassy of a European nation he did not name was detained during last month’s protests but was released a day later.

Officials have said that several foreign nationals were among those detained during the protests.

Authorities have detained more than 500 opposition figures and activists since then.

Many will likely be tried for apostasy — a crime punishable by death under Iranian law — as well as attempts to topple the government and fomenting the postelection turmoil.

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