(The New York Times) | March 19, 2010

In recent weeks, the Iranian authorities have released dozens of high-profile opposition figures who were arrested after the disputed presidential elections in June, rights advocates said on Friday.

The prisoners were required to post bail in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the advocates said. Mohsen Mirdamadi, a former member of Parliament and reformist politician, was released this week after posting bail of $450,000. Saeed Leylaz, a prominent economist and journalist, and Bahman Amoowee, another well-known journalist, were also released after paying substanial sums.

The advocacy group Human Rights Activists in Iran said on Friday that around 18,000 people have been arrested since last summer, and many of them remain in prison. Emadedin Baghi, a human rights activist and journalist, has been in solitary confinement for the past 50 days, the opposition Jaras Web site reported. At least six people were sentenced to death last week for their role during the protests, in addition to two others who were executed in February.

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