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Iran Admits Prisoners Were Beaten To Death

Hundreds were arrested following protests in June
Iran's judiciary has released a statement acknowledging that at least three prisoners detained after the disputed June 12 presidential election died as a result of being beaten by their jailers.

The December 19 judiciary statement said indictments have been issued against 12 officials in charge of Kahrizak detention center, located south of the capital Tehran. Three of those charged are facing murder charges.

In the wake of the June 12 vote -- which secured President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection -- thousands of people protesting against the results were arrested. Authorities deny allegations of vote-rigging.

Police and judiciary officials had for months rejected claims by the opposition of prison abuse, saying the deaths at the prison were caused by illnesses, not physical mistreatment.

The Iranian opposition says that at least 72 people were killed following the election, while the government says 30 died.

compiled from agency reports