A group of Minnesotans on Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of the elections in Iran in which the opposition leader lost to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The elections were followed by mass protests that became subject to a crackdown by Iranian authorities.
The Minnesota Committee in Support of a Democratic Iran, formed last year in response to the Iranian government's suppression of public dissent and human rights violations, will rally at Nicollet Mall and 11th Street in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday.
Other rallies will be taking place around the world Saturday to protest alleged fraud in last year's election and the human rights abuses opposition groups say Ahmadinejad's government is guilty of.
Parham Alaei, an organizer with the Minnesota group, said Iran's dispute with the U.S. over its nuclear activities makes the news often. But he said he hopes the protests will raise awareness about human rights abuses.
"This is not being talked about," Alaei said.
Plans by the opposition movement for a large protest in Iran were scrapped this week. The opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, said in a joint written statement that hard-liners were preparing to crack down on the protesters.
The leaders said they were canceling the rally "in order to protect people's lives and property."
Alaei said the opposition movement wants free and fair elections and the freeing of political prisoners in Iran. That likely includes the three American hikers -- including Minnesota native Shane Bauer -- who were arrested last July after crossing Iran's border, he said.
"Perhaps the government arrested them basically to hold them as a bargaining chip," Alaei said. "It is a human rights violation."
Protesters around the world on Saturday will wear green -- the color of Iran's opposition movement.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Editor's note: A previous version of this story suggested those organizing the Minnesota rally supported the opposition leader in last year's elections. This new version explains the group was formed after the elections in Iran.