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Khatami denounces "crimes" against Iran detainees

Iran's ex-president Mohammad Khatami denounced on Thursday, what he said were "crimes" being committed against detained protesters who opposed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

world Updated: Jul 30, 2009 16:53 IST

Iran's ex-president Mohammad Khatami denounced on Thursday, what he said were "crimes" being committed against detained protesters who opposed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He said that the releasing protesters who were rounded up in the aftermath of the Ahmadinejad's disputed victory was not enough and those who have been disrespected and their honour violated must be compensated.

"Blood has been spilled and several families are damaged psychologically. Illegal and un-Islamic acts have been committed against the people," said the reformist Khatami, who was succeeded by Ahmadinejad in 2005.

The Iranian authorities freed 140 protesters this week and announced the closure of a detention centre amid opposition allegations of prisoner abuse.

"It is not enough to say that a detention centre was not up to the required standards and so closed. Does it mean the ventilation system was malfunctioning or the toilets were unclean?" he said on his Baran foundation website.

"No. Crimes have been committed. Lives have been lost." Khatami is a key supporter of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former premier who has consistently challenged Ahmadinejad's re-election.

Hundreds of thousands of their supporters poured onto the streets of Tehran in the aftermath of the June 12 election and in the ensuing violence, about 30 people were killed, hundreds wounded and several thousands initially arrested.

Most prosteste have been freed but about 250 remain behind bars.