Iran's chief of police has criticized the domestic media's "extensive coverage" of a recent spate of alleged rapes in the country, saying it would cause "a sense of insecurity in society," RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.
Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghadam said on June 21 that news about a crime like rape -- which is fairly uncommon in Iran -- should not be published in a way that would "jeopardize the victim's honor."
In the past month, state media have reported extensively on three alleged cases of gang rape in the provinces.
In late April, more than 10 men are charged with attacking a woman who was returning from work in a village near the eastern city of Kashmar and raping her.
In May, 14 men reportedly raided a party in Khomeini Shahr, near the central city of Isfahan, locked all the men in a room, and raped the women attending the party.
The latest cases of rape, announced by the judicial authorities of the northern Golestan Province, were published by Mehr News Agency on June 20.
According to the report, a female physician was sexually assaulted by four men in a village in Golestan and a girl was abducted and killed by two men after being raped in the same province. The dates of the crimes were not given.
Abdolkarim Lahiji, the Paris-based vice president of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, told Radio Farda on June 22 that people should always be informed of such news in order to be able to take precautionary measures and not become a victim of such crimes.
"Yet since Iran's police and security institutions are incapable of establishing security, they prefer to keep people in the dark about such crimes," Lahiji said.