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Iran Judiciary Continues Prosecuting Signatories Of Opposition Statement

Mostafa Tajzadeh, Iranian reformist politician, who is harshly criticizing the regime in the wake of November protests. File photo

Iran's Judiciary on Thursday summoned another signatory of a 77-signature opposition statement condemning the bloody suppression of November protests for "Propaganda Against the Islamic Republic".

The family of Isa Saharkhiz, a reformist journalist, published an image of the court order today on social media platforms. Saharkhiz who has five days to appear in court has previously been imprisoned for "insulting the Supreme Leader" and "propaganda" against the regime.

The statement by 77 pro-reform figures was issued in the wake of the November protests. It deplores the regime's violent and lethal response against the protesters, called on the authorities to respect people's right to peaceful protest and demands that those who issued the order to shoot the protesters, as well as those who carried out the order, be prosecuted.

Interestingly Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri today said: "One of the ways to protest is writing individual or group letters. Another way is using the many media outlets that we have, such as the IRIB (state broadcaster) and the cyberspace."

Many of the signatories of the 77-signature statement are among the members of the banned pro-reform Participation Front Party (known as Mosharekat Party).

Iran's Judiciary arrested Mehdi Mahmoudian, another signatory of the statement, on December 10 and has summoned several others including Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister.

Mahmoudian is a human rights activist known for his role in exposing the atrocities committed by the regime at Kahrizak detention facility in 2009. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2009.

Mostafa Tajzadeh said on Wednesday that the judiciary can prosecute him as the one responsible. "Although I did not write the statement, I take [full] responsibility for it," he told reporters and added that the Judiciary can take any action that it wishes.

Tajzadeh, posted an image of the court letter sent to him on twitter on December 7 but said he refuses to appear in court voluntarily. "The Leader [Khamenei] knows I will not attend court before my complaint against [Guardian Council Chariman] Ahmad Jannati for changing the election results [in 1999] is investigated."