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September 3, 2009

Head of Reformist front released from Evin, judiciary head opposed to mass trials

PressTV is reporting that the head of the Reformist front in Tehran has been released from Evin prison after nearly two months. Abbas Mirza Aboutalebi was arrested on 10 July in connection with the unrest following the June 12 elections.

Aboutalebi is the deputy secretary general of Hambastegi (Solidarity), an Iranian Reformist party, and was a former deputy at the Iranian Parliament (Majlis).
He was also one of the top campaigners of defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

This could be another sign that the conservatives, under the direction of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are moving towards some form of reconciliation.
Alternatively, it is an example of head of the judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani’s stance against the mass trials of reformists. Indeed, rumor has it the brother of Majles Speaker Ali Larijani is working to release three key reformists (including Saeed Hajjarian) before the end of Ramazan. From a New York Times article this morning:

Jahan news, a pro-government Web site, reported Thursday that Sadeq Larijani, head of the judiciary, is opposed to the mass trials of political prisoners that the president and his allies have organized.
The report said that he is looking to bring an end to the trials and has ordered the release of three high profile prisoners by the end of the of the holy month of Ramadan, including Saeed Hajjarian, a former deputy minister and reform movement strategist; Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, a former vice president; and Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, a former government spokesman.

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