Archive for Friday, March 10, 2006

Witnesses: Armed police charged demonstrators

March 10, 2006

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— Police armed with batons charged into about 200 mostly female demonstrators demanding equal rights for women in a Tehran park, beating protesters, witnesses said Thursday.

An international rights group accused Iran of using violence to suppress peaceful protest.

"The attack on women's rights activists highlights the Iranian government's consistent policy of suppressing freedom of association and assembly," Human Rights Watch said in a statement issued by its head office in New York.

The protest Wednesday afternoon in Daneshjoo Park was largely ignored by Thursday's media, and the two reports that did appear - one on a Web site and the other in a small-circulation paper - did not mention the police charge.

It was not known if the government tried to suppress reports on the police action. A government spokesman could not be reached for comment because of the late hour.

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