Iran to release prominent reformist from jail


File image of Saeed Hajjarian, considered the theoretician behind Iran's reformist movement.
Prominent Iranian reformist Saeed Hajjarian will be released from jail Wednesday, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

A spokesman for Iran’s courts announced Hajjarian’s release, prompted by a recent order by Iran’s judicial chief to expedite the processing of files for all those arrested in post-election demonstrations, Fars said. According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Hajjarian, a reformist journalist and former adviser to President Mohammed Khatami, was detained in Tehran’s Evin prison on June 15. The Campaign had been advocating on Hajjarian’s behalf. Hajjarian, 55, is one of several jailed reformists accused of orchestrating the post-election violence in Iran. Iran’s government cracked down on supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi who took to the streets to protest what they called a fraudulent presidential election.

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That election handed hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office. Hajjarian, considered the theoretician behind Iran’s reformist movement, was extremely influential until a 2000 assassination attempt that left him severely disabled. He was shot in the head, suffered brain and spinal cord injuries and was confined to a wheelchair. His wife, physician Vajiheh Marsoussi visited Hajjarian in prison. She told Human Rights Watch that his medical condition was “deteriorating severely.” The Iranian government released 140 people arrested in post-election demonstrations from Evin prison Tuesday.

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