Iran General NewsPro-reform former Iran VP assaulted: reports

Pro-reform former Iran VP assaulted: reports

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AFP: A former Iranian vice president, who was among scores of pro-reform figures arrested after disputed presidential elections last June, said he was assaulted Thursday by attackers who smashed his car window, a website reported.

TEHRAN (AFP) — A former Iranian vice president, who was among scores of pro-reform figures arrested after disputed presidential elections last June, said he was assaulted Thursday by attackers who smashed his car window, a website reported.

“This morning, after exiting a mosque in southern Tehran where I attended a memorial ceremony, I was attacked by a number of plainclothes men,” Mohammad Ali Abtahi was quoted as saying by a pro-reform website.

“Later, as I was driving on the highway, a sedan cut me off and a number of bikers smashed my car with cable cords and knives, breaking my vehicle’s window,” the Parlemannews.ir quoted him as saying.

“They threw tear gas into my vehicle but I was able to get out miraculously with tears running down my face.

“It was a savage attack. No one came to my rescue. God saved me,” the website quoted him as saying, showing pictures of Abtahi’s damaged vehicle.

Meanwhile, the Fars news agency reported the assault, but gave no details.

“The police prevented the assault on him, but his car was damaged and his car windows were broken,” it said, adding that police were pursuing the case.

In November, the court of first instance sentenced Abtahi, close aide of the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami, to a six-year jail term for “acting against national security and propaganda activity.”

He was freed on 700,000 dollars (565,000 euros) bail, pending an appeal.

The former vice president was among scores of opposition figures who were arrested shortly after the publication of official election results giving hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term.

Abtahi, who was detained only a few days after the June 12 vote, reportedly withdrew his accusations of electoral fraud when he appeared in court on August 1, and expressed regret that he had taken part in post-election protests.

The opposition has condemned the “show trials” and “forced confessions” related to the elections, and called for the unconditional release of prisoners arrested in the election aftermath.

Several thousand people were arrested. Most were later freed but several hundred — including dozens of reformist officials, journalists and human rights activists — are still in prison.

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