Thursday, March 10, 2005

1,000 women demonstrate in Iran capital

Iran Focus:
On the event of International Women's Day, 1,000 women staged a demonstration at central Tehran’s Laleh Park yesterday afternoon.

Clashes erupted between the protesters and State Security Forces (SSF) as local residents reported tight security in the vicinity of the park since daybreak.

"We are only marching quietly. You are afraid of women. You will see what will happen when women finally stand up", one woman shouted, as agents rushed to silence her. read more

Motor squads of the Revolutionary Guards and the Bassij paramilitary forces assisted SSF agents armed with Kalashnikovs and truncheons in arresting many women on the scene.

Guards and plainclothes agents were ordered to charge at any gathering of more than three women in a bid to quell the threat of a major rally, according to residents.

Demonstrators shouted slogans against the clerical establishment and sang patriotic songs, as SSF agents attempted to arrest anyone seen carrying a camera.

Leaflets calling for "regime change" were distributed throughout the crowd. Some carried photos of Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, witnesses said.

A number of those passing out leaflets were detained by the Iranian regime's security apparatus.