Iran Denies Allegations of Prison Rapes
New York Times / Robert F. Worth

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, vehemently denied Wednesday that some male and female protesters arrested in the wake of Iran’s disputed presidential election were sexually abused in prison.

The accusations of prison rape, first broached by the reformist cleric and presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, shocked many Iranians and prompted Mr. Larijani to assign a special parliamentary committee last weekend to investigate.

The accusations have deepened divisions among conservatives and distracted attention from the government’s renewed efforts to silence Iran’s still-defiant opposition through a mass trial of reformist figures. Prosecutors have tried to cast the entire opposition movement as a foreign-inspired effort to provoke a “velvet” revolution in Iran.

Mr. Larijani dismissed the rape accusations Wednesday as “sheer lies,” saying the probe had found no evidence to support them. But opposition ... >>>

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