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Relatives Call For Release Of Detained Reformers, Protesters In Iran

Thousands of people were detained in the unrest after Iran's disputed elections in June.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Dozens of relatives of prominent reformers and other people detained after Iran's disputed election have gathered outside the prosecutor's office in Tehran calling for their release.

A witness told Reuters that family members, including wives of people arrested after the June vote, held pictures of detainees, including former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh and former government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh.

The gathering was peaceful and there was no sign of police, the witness said. The relatives did not chant slogans, but held signs calling for the detainees to be freed, the witness added.

Thousands of people were arrested after the June 12 presidential election, which sparked huge street protests.

The moderate opposition says the poll was rigged to secure hardline President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's re-election. The authorities deny those charges.

Most of the detainees have since been released, but more than 100 senior reformers, activists, journalists, and others have been put on trial accused of fomenting postelection unrest. The opposition has denounced the court sessions as "show trials."

The authorities have portrayed the postelection street demonstrations, which were quelled by the elite Revolutionary Guards and an allied Islamic militia, as a foreign-backed bid to undermine the Islamic Republic.