Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:23 UK

Iran protesters 'to face trial'

Iranian women wear the green of the opposition movement at Friday prayers (17.07.09)
The opposition 'Green Movement' want detained protesters released

About 20 Iranians detained during protests over the disputed presidential election will face trial next week, Iran's state news agency has said.

It said they faced charges including bombings, carrying weapons and attacking security forces.

But a considerable number of detainees will be freed by Friday, Iranian media quoted the state prosecutor as saying.

And a prominent opposition campaigner, Saeed Hajjarian, is due to be released on Wednesday, the judiciary said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was re-elected in last month's poll that the opposition says was rigged, has reportedly ordered that all prisoners not accused of serious offences be freed by 7 August.

On Tuesday, officials said about 140 people detained during the protests were released from Evin prison.

But about 200 others, accused of more serious crimes, remained in the prison.

Toll raised

Officials also announced on Tuesday that 30 people were killed in clashes between opposition supporters and security forces - up from a previously stated figure of about 20.

Opposition groups believe up to 100 people may have died, in the largest mass protests seen in Iran since the 1979 revolution which brought the current Islamic regime to power.

Officials also announced on Tuesday that 30 people were killed in clashes between opposition supporters and police - up from a previously stated figure of about 20.

Mr Hajjarian, who survived an assassination attempt in 2000, is a key member of a prominent reformist group and was an advisor to former reformist President, Mohammad Khatami.

Human Rights Watch had called for his release on Tuesday, saying his life was in danger as his health had deteriorated during harsh treatment in the prison.

The opposition groups, led by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, were planning a memorial event on Thursday to mark the end of the 40-day mourning period for a number of protesters killed during the protests.

But the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday that the interior ministry had refused permission.

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