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Prominent Iranian Cleric Released From Jail

Hadi Ghabel (file photo) (ISNA) October 29, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Prominent reformist cleric Hadi Ghabel was released from jail today, after being imprisoned for more than a month on security-related charges.

Ghabel's brother, Ahmad Ghabel, told Radio Farda today that Hadi Ghabel was released on bail of 500 million rials (about $54,000). Ahmad Gabel has also been imprisoned by Iranian officials in the past.

Hadi Ghabel -- an outspoken member of the country's main reformist party, Mosharekat (the Islamic Iran Participation Front) -- was detained in Qom in September. He was reportedly held in solitary confinement.

Ghabel has previously been jailed for criticizing Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Ghabel's son has said that several sessions of his father's trial took place behind closed doors, and that he was not given access to a lawyer.

Ghabel's brother told Radio Farda that Hadi Ghabel is expecting the Special Court for the Clergy to issue a ruling on his case. "The sessions of his trial were against the law and without a jury; the first three sessions even took place without a lawyer," Ahmad Ghabel said. "Anyway, the trial took place as [officials] are used to doing it. He is expecting the court verdict at any time."

Some observers have said that his arrest is an attempt by the Iranian establishment to silence critics ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in March.

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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