Mir Hossein Mousavi and other opposition leaders have urged the grand ayatollahs in the holy cities of Qom and Mashhad to pressure the government to release protesters and activists imprisoned and being tortured following last month’s disputed presidential election.
Mousavi, the presumed winner of the election, Mehdi Karrubi, former President Mohammad Khatami and 66 other prominent reformists sent a letter to the senior ayatollahs saying authorities have held protesters and activists without charges and have used torture to extract confessions.
"We call on you, the marja' taqlid to remind the relevant authorities of the damaging consequences of employing unlawful methods and warn them about the spread of tyranny in the Islamic republic system," said the letter.
"What legal, Islamic or human rights code can justify the repeated torture of those who live under the banner of Islam?" it said.
The letter said the repressive methods used to obtain confessions were reminiscent of the methods employed by Iran's former shah, who was toppled by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
"The only way out of this situation is to release all detainees and put an end to the security state imposed after the election," it said [AP English translation, 25 July].