Human Rights Watch: Iranian protesters arrested in Tehran

More than a thousand protesters have been arrested in Iran. Here are three of their stories.

The latest from human rights group Human Rights Watch

A crowd of thousands have gathered in the centre of Tehran, chanting “Death to the dictator” and “All for democracy”. Some have been chanting for the ousting of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office.

The streets around the presidential palace are quiet again today as Iranian activists take to the streets in support of Ahmadinejad’s opponents.

“Ahmadinejad supporters are being held in front of the offices of the supreme court. If the supreme court upholds the president’s election results, the president will be removed from office by parliament,” a member of the Tehran branch of the opposition told Reuters.

There are also increasing reports that some of the opposition’s leaders and supporters have been targeted by the security forces, Human Rights Watch said. The semi-official Fars news agency said this morning that the government had detained at least one politician and two of his aides, including a man it identified as a deputy mayor of Tehran.

The group said it had been investigating reports that security forces were using excessive force and using live rounds against protesters, and it had received reports that some of protesters’ families had been targeted.

There are also reports of police and private security forces using excessive force, such as using tasers, batons and dogs against demonstrators.

“The human rights group said in its report that the security forces were behaving in accordance with the rules of international law.

“The human rights group said that it had interviewed 15 of the 19 protesters who were arrested yesterday during demonstrations in Tehran. The group said they had been beaten, threatened and coerced into not leaving their home.”

In the last few days, Iranian authorities have arrested as many as 60-70 people who planned to take to the streets in protest today.

The government and the opposition have accused each other of engaging in violence and vandalism in the days leading up to the planned nationwide protest.

In pictures: Student protests in Iran Show all 41 1 /41 In pictures: Student protests in Iran In pictures: Student protests in Iran Protestors hold posters of Iran’s reformist President Mohammad Khatami next to a burning effigy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while

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