Iran rally detainees 'bashed to death'
The Australian / Agencies

REPORTS from Tehran families of receiving the bodies of relatives arrested at opposition rallies who later died from violent treatment in prison has set off a firestorm of anger at the government.

Reports yesterday said some prisoners watched fellow detainees being beaten to death by guards in overcrowded, stinking holding pens. Others said they had their fingernails ripped off or were forced to lick filthy toilet bowls.

Among the dead is Mohsen Rouhalamini, the son of a prominent conservative and adviser to presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai. His family said he died of cardiac arrest and bleeding in his lungs, and that his face had been smashed.

News of his death spurred fury across political lines, prompting even some pro-government newspapers and politicians to charge the regime with excessive use of force and violence in crushing its opposition.

Opposition leaders warned of a backlash and urged the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to reverse its actions.

"People will not forgive these acts. How could it be possible that someone goes into a prison, then his body comes out?" opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said.

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