Opposition leaders in Iran are calling on the country's top clerics to
help end the crackdown that followed massive protests of Iran's June 12
Defeated presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi
Karroubi, along with former president Mohammad Khatami, sent a letter
to clerics in the holy city of Qom Saturday, comparing the crackdown to
the violent methods employed by the former shah (before the 1979 Islamic revolution).
A statement posted by Karroubi on his Internet site went even further,
accusing Iranian security agents of using tactics more brutal than
those he said were employed by the Israelis against the Palestinians.
Rights groups say hundreds of people were detained during the
post-election crackdown. At least 20 people were reported killed during
One reformist Web site Saturday said one of the protesters in custody
has died. He was said to be the son of an advisor to another defeated
presidential candidate, Mohsen Rezaie.
Mousavi and Karroubi say the June 12 vote was rigged, but Iran's
powerful Guardian Council has since upheld the re-election of President
Human rights supporters gathered in about 80 cities around the world
Saturday, echoing the calls for Iran's leadership to end the crackdown.
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi was expected to speak at one of the rallies in Amsterdam.