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Iran chief prosecutor: charges pending for opposition leaders

Iranian chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi delivered a speech at Tehran University on Friday indicating that he would prosecute opposition leaders for political unrest that took place after the country's 2009 presidential election [JURIST news archive]. Dolatabadi threatened to prosecute [NYT report] former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi and former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami [BBC profiles]. Mousavi and the other leaders called for continuing protests [JURIST report] to oppose the results of the 2009 presidential election, arguing that it was fraudulent. Dolatabadi referred to the opposition leaders as criminals [WP report] who threatened the country's security and public trust. Dolatabadi's remarks echoed those made in a speech delivered the previous day by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [BBC profile], Iran's highest authority, during a pro-government rally.

The three leaders would join a long line of individuals detained or already prosecuted for their roles during the election protests. In September, Shiva Nazar Ahari, a journalist arrested after the 2009 elections, was sentenced to six years in prison [JURIST report] for charges including "warring against God" and distributing anti-government propaganda. Also in September, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer known for representing political activists following the 2009 election, was detained for allegedly spreading propaganda and colluding against national security [JURIST report]. In August, an Iranian court sentenced Qorban Behzadianejad, Mousavi's campaign manager, to five years in prison [JURIST report]. The Iranian government detained hundreds of protesters and sentenced several to death [JURIST report]. Khamenei pardoned or commuted the sentences of 81 protesters [JURIST report] in June.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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