Iran arrests 10 journalists, holds total 55 - sites

TEHRAN Mon Feb 8, 2010 4:47pm IST

A government supporter holds a poster with images of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (R) and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a protest against opposition demonstrations during Ashura in Tehran December 30, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files

A government supporter holds a poster with images of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (R) and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a protest against opposition demonstrations during Ashura in Tehran December 30, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files

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TEHRAN (Reuters) - The total number of journalists in detention in Iran has risen to at least 55 after the arrest of 10 in recent days, reformist websites reported on Monday.

Hundreds of people have been detained since street protests broke out in the aftermath of presidential elections last year that opposition supporters say were rigged, an allegation that the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejects.

Kaleme, the website of defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, said nine journalists and photojournalists had been arrested in the past two days, taking the total to 55.

Those recently detained included Akbar Montajabi, assistant editor-in-chief of the magazine "Iran Dokht", which is close to Medhi Karroubi, another defeated candidate.

Parleman News, the website of parliament's minority reformist minority, said a female journalist had been arrested on Sunday. She was not among those named by Kaleme and it was not clear if she was among the 55.

Iran marks the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution on Thursday, offering a potential cue for more violent protests.

Eight people were killed in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters on Dec. 27, the most serious violence since the aftermath of the June 12 election.

(Reporting by Reza Derakhshi; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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