Nobel laureate urges Iran to release detainees

SEOUL, South Korea — Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi on Sunday urged Iran's government to release detained activists and citizens accused of involvement in the country's postelection unrest, saying the president must "listen to the people's voice."

Hundreds of people in Iran have been detained following massive demonstrations protesting
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's June 12 re-election. On Sunday, Iran's police chief acknowledged that some of the detained protesters were abused in custody, but said the death of some prisoners was caused by illness not torture.

However, Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, said in an interview with The Associated Press in Seoul that police tortured some detainees to death, and that one prison was even given permission by the government to torture. She
did not explain how she knew this.

"What I want to criticize the government for is why they arrested and tortured them though they engaged in peaceful rallies," Ebadi said, speaking in Farsi through interpreters. "The government's violence should be immediately stopped and those arrested after the election should be released."

Police chief Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam acknowledged that protesters were beaten by their jailers at Kahrizak detention center on Tehran's southern outskirts. Rights groups say at least three people died after being detained at the facility.

"This detent... >>>

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