Tuesday July 28 – the daily story

Today’s main stories:

— More than 140 prisoners held in post-elec tion  clashes have been freed in the wake of official pressure to clean up Iran’s prison mess. Kazem Jalali, a member of the the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said those set free – on bail – were arrested on minor charges. He  head the special committee that reportedly visited Evin prison on Monday. He said about 150 who remained in custody would face the courts on such charges as possessing firearms and damaging public property. “Some political figures, members of anti-revolutionary groups and some foreigners involved in recent riots are among those [still] in custody,” Jalali said.

In addition the authorities have closed Tehran’s Kahrizak detention  centre on the orders of Ayatollah Khamenei, who described it Monday as a “non-standard” prison. In fact the opposition says it was notorious for its torture and medieval conditions.

The UN  high commission for human rights has announced that it is investigating Iran’s post-election detentions . Sohrab Soleimani, the head of Tehran’s prisons, denied that two protesters had died after beatings in jail, insisting they died of meningitis. But Mir-Hossein Moussavi responded by asking how meningitis caused broken teeth.

Meanwhile the Abdul-Hossein Ruholamini, the head of the Pasteur Institute and father of Mohsen, the student whose death has done most to trigger the current wave of recriminations, has pledged to pursue a “serious campaign for the improvement of internal affairs”.  He said: “I will not overlook his rights, even though he has departed and will not return.” Bloomberg, PressTV, PressTV

— The Islamic Society of Engineers, a Principlist faction close to Ali Larijani, the Majlis Speaker, has written to President Ahmadinejad warning him that if he continues to defy Ayatollah Khamenei he faces the same fate as former prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq and former president Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr, “whose opposition to the country’s religious leaders’ ultimately led to their overthrow”.  The letter added:  “It seems you want to be the sole speaker and do not want to hear other voices. Therefore it is our duty to convey to you the voice of the people.” The implication of the letter is that the President is still under the hammer for appointing Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie to head his Presidential Office after being forced to climb down over his earlier appointment as First Vice President. sfgate.com, PressTV

— The Interior Ministry has refused permission for the opposition to hold a mourning ceremony Thursday for victims of the post-election crackdown, saying that the mere fact of the application for what purported to be a religious event unmasked its political overtones. AFP


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