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Iran Condemns Man To Death Over Unrest

Opposition protestors in the streets of central Tehran weeks after the June election that they dismissed as fraudulent.
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- A court has sentenced a man to death for involvement in street unrest after Iran's disputed election in June, and for membership of an exiled opposition movement, an Iranian rights group said.

The group, the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, said on its website that Reza Khademi was the fifth person to receive the death sentence in connection with widespread unrest triggered by the presidential poll.

There was no immediate comment from Iranian officials.

In October, the Iranian news agency ISNA reported that a court had sentenced three people to death on similar charges. It quoted a judiciary official as saying the sentences could be appealed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, last month urged Iran's appeal courts to review the three death sentences carefully.

The pro-reform opposition has said the vote was rigged to secure hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection.

Iranian authorities have rejected election fraud charges and portrayed the street protests that erupted after the vote as foreign-backed efforts to undermine the Islamic Republic.

The Committee of Human Rights Reporters said Khademi was arrested on June 13 and that a Revolutionary Court had handed down the death sentence against him.

He was accused of being a member of the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), which is an exiled opposition organization seen by both Iran and the United States as a terrorist group, it said.

Khademi was also accused of taking part and leading people in the postelection riots, the website said. It disputed these charges against him, saying he was arrested only a day after the election.

Thousands of people were arrested after the election. Most of them have since been freed but more than 100 reformers and others have been put on trial, accused of fomenting street protests. Several people have been sentenced to jail terms. The opposition has denounced the trials.