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Iran President calls for prosecution of those resorting to violence

President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday called for bringing to justice those involved in violence against individuals advocating freedom and the authorized meetings which are on the rise with approach of the parliamentary elections slated for February 20, IRNA reported from Tehran.

He said in a directive to Minister of the Interior Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari and Minister of Information Ali Younesi that the government organs are required to support the legitimate freedoms in the society in light of the democratic process underway as per the Constitution.

The president assigned the information ministry to identify those behind unlawful actions against the social and individual rights of the people and said that it is unacceptable to tolerate violence against the authorized meetings.

"Attacking the authorized meetings which are symbol of freedom and democracy should be strongly dealt with. But, these days, on the eve of the elections, violence is taking place against the meetings and even prominent personalities are being attacked which is not acceptable at all. Such incidents took place in Yazd and at al-Zahra University, Tehran.

"I urge you first, from now on grant security to the authorized meetings and the participants as well as the speakers.

"Second, you are expected to deal with those involved in such actions without the least possible mercy.

"Third. The information ministry should identify those behind such violence and bring them to justice.

"God willing, we will not let the prestige of the Islamic Republic and the legitimate rights of the people be spoiled by 'certain groups or specific tendencies'," President Khatami said.

... Payvand News - 12/7/03 ... --

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