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October 2, 2009

Senior Reformer released in Tehran; More Victims Speak Out

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Saeed Hajjarian, a senior reformer, was freed Wednesday on bail after spending 110 days jailed in Iran. He has championed the reformist cause against Iran’s hard-line clerics and survived an assassination attempt in 2000 that left him partially paralyzed. In August, Hajjarian gave a statement admitting to fomenting postelection unrest at what have been widely considered mock show trials in Iran. Mohammad Khatami has attested to the invalidity of such confessions made under “extraordinary conditions”.
Today, CNN also reports two Iranian dissidents spoke out about their horrific experiences held captive in Iran after being taken in by authorities for engaging in anti-government demonstrations. Despite the pain of reliving the abuse through their testimonies, Ibrahim Sharifi, a university student from Tehran, and Maryam Sabri are determined to bring attention to human rights violations in Iran. They are currently waiting for the U.N. High Commission for Refugees to process their requests for asylum.
Giving an emotional statement, Sharifi said:

“I broke a taboo in Iran. I sat in front of the camera and committed social suicide so this incident wouldn’t happen to others…I want the whole world to know that Iran’s problems are not only limited to the nuclear issue… The Iranian regime plays games with other countries of the world. It plays the same games with its own nation and people.”

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