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U.S. Says Iranian Women's Arrests Part Of 'Alarming' Pattern

Iran has faced frequent complaints about its official treatment of women (AFP) March 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The United States says it is "deeply" concerned by reports that Iranian authorities attacked peaceful women's rights protesters at a gathering to mark International Women's Day, Radio Farda reported.

The U.S. State Department said March 8 actions by the Iranian regime highlighted an "alarming" trend of intolerance toward the expression of independent views by the Iranian people.

One of the organizers of the Tehran demonstration told Radio Farda that several people were injured during the clashes.

The clashes followed the arrests on March 4 of more than 30 women protesters who had gathered outside a court trying other activists over a previous peaceful rally against discriminatory laws.

All but three of those arrested on March 4 have since been freed.

Several human rights organizations have condemned the arrests and called on Iran to release the three women still detained.

Women In Iran

Women In Iran

Women in Tehran (epa file photo)

CALLING FOR MORE RIGHTS: Although women played key roles in Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, the place of women in post-revolutionary society has been a vexing question. Iranian women have struggled to bring attention to their calls for greater rights in their country's rigid theocratic system, calls that have often clashed with the values proclaimed by conservatives in society. (more)


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