Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Missing Iranians go 'off the radar'
Families camp outside prison, waiting for word of loved ones detained in post-election crackdown
Lee Keath

CAIRO, Egypt – Several dozen families camp outside Iran's daunting Evin prison, trying to learn the fate of loved ones who vanished in post-election turmoil.

A month into the government crackdown on protests, the number of people killed and arrested remains unknown, but human rights groups believe the death toll is far higher than the official figure of 20.

Many of at least 500 people known to have been arrested have disappeared in prisons, held in secret locations and barred from contact with families.

Rights groups say dozens of others have not been heard from since the protests and their relatives don't know whether they are alive or dead.

About 50 men and women held vigil over the weekend before the gates of Evin, the main prison for political detainees, waiting for news of their relatives, a witness told The Associated Press.
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