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Two Executions, Karrubi's Clarification

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

Two Iranians Executed; Lawyer Reacts

Two Iranians, who were accused of "fighting against God" (moharebeh) and being responsible for post-election unrest, were executed on January 28.

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose client Arash Rahmanipour was one of those executed, tells Radio Farda that she and Rahmanipour’s family are shocked by his death. “They told us that his case had been sent to the appeals court, but before announcing any results from the court, suddenly we heard that Arash has been executed,” she says.

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (ISNA), Rahmanipour had been arrested during the post-election turmoil, but Sotoudeh says he was arrested two months before the election, and his case had nothing to do with the post-election strife.

Rahmanipour was 19 when he was arrested, but Sotoudeh says most of what the court accused him of occurred when he was under the age of 18. She says he should not have been tried as an adult.

The court did not let Sotoudeh attend any of her client’s court appearances. She says that in court, they forced him to confess to the things he didn’t do.

Sotoudeh believes that the execution occurred because the government wants to create fear among Iranians, especially after the events on Ashura.

“I believe the government is trying to threaten people, but these acts will make the situation even worse,” she says.

[listen in Farsi / read in English]

Karrubi Clarifies Comments, Criticizes Cleric

Opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi has clarified comments he made earlier this week recognizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's heard of government, despite ongoing doubt about the legitimacy of June's presidential election.

On Wednesday, he said that recognizing Ahmadinejad does not mean that he is retreating from the opposition. He also accused Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati of being a traitor to the people’s vote.

“I still believe that there was a fraud in the election," he said. "However Ahmadinejad is the 'Head of the State,' and despite all the protests, was able to be the executive chief. Therefore he should be held accountable for his performance.”

[read in Farsi]