Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini charged tonight that Iranian demonstrators jailed in the United States were being "tortured" and otherwise mistreated.
The Iranian leader's allegation came in a broadcast speech in which he rebuked Pope John Paul II for failing to condemn the treatment of the arrested Iranians.
"Why doesn't Mr. Pope ask any questions about these boys and girls who, at this moment, are chained in prison and under torture?" Khomeini asked.
He claimed that "our young people are chained and handcuffeed, and some of them are unconscius with broken ribs."
Khomeini directed his criticism to Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, who is here with a papal appeal that 14 Catholic schools closed by authorities be allowed to reopen. Khomeini upbraided the pope for sending Capucci to Iran while not intervening with President Carter on the Iranians being held in the United States.
"I wish that a messenger had been sent with a letter to Carter," Khomeini said. "Our youths are passing out under the boots of the slaughterers of Carter and the United States." He also charged that the pro-Khomeini Iranians were being held in solitary confinement.
In addition to Khomeini's outburst, the detention of about 192 Iranians in the United States after demonstrations in Washington a week ago has sparked fresh protests here against the U.S. government and threats that their arrest would affect the fate of the 52 American hostages now about to enter their 10th month in captivity.
Messages of solidarity with the "victims of the savagery of the American police" have been issued from several quarters, including President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr's office, the general staff of the Army and the Red Lion and Sun Society, Iran's equivalent of the Red Cross.
Today Iran instructed its U.N. representative to visit the 20 Iranian women being held in a federal prison in New York for deportation proceedings. w
The other detained Iranians are 169 men held in a federal jail in Otisville, N.Y., and three hospitalized men reportedly suffering from dehydration. The Iranians have refused to eat or disclose their names since they were arrested July 27 on disorderly conduct charges during a demonstration in which they clashed with police and anti-Khomeini Iranians.
About 50 young men have been staging a hunger strike in a Tehran mosque to show support for their compatriots, with several hundred others holding a sit-in outside in a courtyard.
"The American hostages are spies, and yet we treated them very well," a young mullah at the mosque said. "But our students were tortured." He claimed to have received information by telephone that the hand of an Iranian female student was "shattered by police" and that another "was abandoned nude." f
Last night, a group of demonstrators marched from the mosque to the occupied U.S. Embassy, where they burned an effigy of President Carter.
Addressing the imprisoned Iranians, Bani-Sadr said last night in a speech here, "Resist the Americans. If they want to deport you, force them to pull you along the ground to make you board the plane. The Iranian people approve of your struggle."
The militants holding the American hostages since Nov. 4 today called for a major demonstration Monday in front of the embassy to show support for the detained Iranians.
"That criminal Carter is attacking our brothers and sisters far from home," the militants said in a broadcast statement.
The Islamic society of the Iranian police also announced it was staging a march Monday in support of the "revolutionary action of the brothers and sisters of the Islamic society of students in the U.S. and Canada" and to condemn the "shameful action" of the American police.
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it had ordered its U.N. representative to visit the women prisoners, and that the Iranian Interests Section of the Algerian Embassy in Washington also had been asked to assist. The interests section had previously seen some imprisoned male demonstrators before they were moved from Washington.
The Foreign Ministry said it "once again condemns this savage action of the American police, which is the result of U.S. internal policy."
The demonstrators last night condemned the United Nations for remaining silent, appealed to the "oppressed nations of the world" to take action against the United States and urged Iranian authorities and the parliament to stand firm and not compromise with Washington.
The parliament is to decide on the fate of the 52 American hostages. The speaker of the parliament, Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said the treatment of the Iranians in the United States was "not something that can be without any effect on the fate" of the Americans.