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Human rights worst in 20 years -- Amnesty

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LONDON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Iran must allow the United Nations to investigate allegations of human-rights abuses during the post-election unrest, Amnesty International says.

"The supreme leader should order the government to invite in U.N. special rapporteurs on torture and on summary and arbitrary executions to help ensure that investigations are both rigorous and independent," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Program.

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Iran launched an aggressive campaign to silence the voice of dissent in the wake of disputed June elections that secured a second term for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Amnesty in its report on the post-election unrest characterized the government response as among the most grievous human-rights violations in decades.

Amnesty in its report documents accounts from detained protesters who claim they were tortured, raped or otherwise abused while in custody. Others said some prisoners died from the ill-treatment they received during their detention.

In the latest crackdown Monday during Students' Day protests, more than 200 were arrested as riot police respond with tear gas and batons.

Manfred Nowak, U.N. special rapporteur on torture, and Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, have asked Iranian authorities for permission to investigate.

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Amnesty said at least 36 protesters were killed in the post-election unrest, more than 4,000 were arrested and as many as 200 remain in custody.

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