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Iran releases German, to free Syrian held over riots - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran has released a German citizen arrested during anti-government riots on Dec. 27 and plans to free a detained Syrian journalist, an Iranian news agency reported on Saturday.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Tehran General Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying the German national was released on Friday night while the Syrian journalist will be freed later on Saturday.

Eight people were killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi on Ashura, a day of ritual Shi’ite mourning that fell on Dec. 27.

It was the worst violence since protests in the immediate aftermath of a disputed presidential election in June. Opposition protesters say the vote was rigged in favour of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which the government denies.

The opposition website Rahesabz said on Wednesday that more than 180 people, including 17 journalists, 10 Mousavi aides and some members of the outlawed Baha’i faith, were arrested in the aftermath of the Dec. 27 protests.

A European diplomat was held for 24 hours.

Dolatabadi said that an unspecified number of Baha’is, whose faith is outlawed in Iran, will face trial this week. He did not give details.

“The German national was released last night and the Syrian reporter of Dubai Television will be released today,” he said. He did not give any further information. “The trial session of these Baha’is will be held during the current week at branch 28 of the Tehran Islamic revolutionary court,” he added.

Dolatabadi said on Friday that another five detainees Iran plans to try in connection with the anti-government protests were members of he People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), an exile group opposed to Iran’s Islamic system of government.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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