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Iran media: Officials to probe secret burial claim

  • Story Highlights
  • Allegations reported by a reformist news site
  • Tehran city council forms a committee to investigate the claims
  • Reformists claim protesters arrested after the June 12 polls were tortured
  • The government rejects the reports
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- City officials in Tehran have agreed to investigate claims that bodies of protesters killed in the unrest that followed Iran's disputed presidential election were secretly buried in the nation's largest cemetery, Iranian media reported Sunday.

The city council has formed a committee to look into the allegations reported last week by a reformist news site, said council spokesman Khosrow Daneshjou, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency.

The charges against Iran's government are the latest by reformists who claim protesters arrested in the aftermath of the June 12 election were raped and tortured. The government rejected such reports, but still pledged to investigate them if there was evidence.

Last week, Norooz News reported that at least 28 people who died in the violence that followed the June 12 election were buried anonymously in Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra cemetery.

The Web site said the secret after-hours burials were done in July at section 302 of the cemetery.

A parliamentary committee also was formed to investigate the reports, lawmaker Hamid-Reza Katouzian said in response to the allegations of the secret burials.

Daneshjou, of the Tehran city council, denied any wrongdoing at the cemetery, saying: "Every day there are deaths of individuals in Tehran, whose bodies are unidentified ... "

However, the accusations specifically focus on the bodies of those involved in the protests, who may have died in the streets or in prison. The government has put the post-election death toll at about 30, though reformists say it is more than twice that figure.

On Sunday, both Norooz News and Parleman News -- a newsgathering arm for the Path of the Imam (Khomeini) faction in parliament -- reported the identity of one woman, Saeida Agahpour, whose family said she was secretly buried in section 302 after authorities took her from her home.

Both sites reported that services were held for Agahpour at the cemetery Saturday, with opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi present.

Moussavi was the chief political rival to hardline incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was declared the overwhelming winner of the election.

All About IranMahmoud AhmadinejadMir Hossein Moussavi

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