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Musavi Ally Released On Bail, Iran Reformist Website Says


Alireza Beheshti, undated

Alireza Beheshti, undated

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- A senior ally of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi has been released on bail after five days in detention, Musavi's website said.

Alireza Hosseini Beheshti, who heads an opposition committee looking into alleged abuse of protesters detained after Iran's disputed June election, was released on September 12.

Musavi's kaleme.com website added that the grandson of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Hassan Khomeini, had visited Beheshti on September 13 in his home. It did not give details on the bail.

He is the son of Ayatollah Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti, who was head of Iran's Supreme Court for about a year after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and killed in a 1981 bombing.

Beheshti has issued estimates of the number of people killed in postelection unrest that are much higher than the official death toll of up to 36 people. The opposition says more than 70 people died during street protests after the vote.

The June election, which was followed by huge opposition protests, plunged Iran into political turmoil and exposed deepening divisions within its ruling elites.

Musavi says the poll was rigged to secure President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection. The authorities deny it.

Two other pro-reform opponents of the hard-line president were also detained last week, reformist websites have reported. The office of pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karrubi, who also ran in the election, was closed down.

On September 9, Musavi urged his supporters not to be provoked by the detentions, saying they were a "sign of more horrendous events to come."

Rights groups say thousands of people, including senior pro-reform figures, were arrested after the election, though most have been freed.

Hard-liners have portrayed the opposition protests as a foreign-backed bid to undermine the Islamic government system.
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