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Reporters authorized to meet Iran protest detainees

Tehran Public and Revolutionary Prosecutors' Offices announced in Tehran on Monday that reporters are now authorized to meet those arrested in the recent unrests in Tehran, IRNA reported.

The prosecutor's office public relations department said in a fax, a copy of which was sent to IRNA, that the courts have authorized reporters to meet and take pictures of the detainees.

It also called the detainees as "hooligans" and "opportunists" warning that the police will strongly confront those who aim to disturb the public peace.

It said among those arrested in Tehran are "corrupt street women" and accused the US as being behind the recent disturbances in the country.

Meanwhile, the head of a key journalists association has written separate letters to Iran's interior minister and police chief, in which he has complained of alleged harassment of journalists by vigilantes during recent on-campus unrest.

Rajab-Ali Mazrouie, the head of the Iranian Journalists Guilds Association, has called for "respecting the prestige and dignity of journalists and guaranteeing their freedom of activity at the time of various events".

"In the course of student protests over the past few days, several journalists have been beaten up by plain-clothes elements as well as unfortunately by police," he said in part of his letters, released Saturday.

"Article 5 of the Press Law recognizes gathering and publishing domestic and foreign news as a legal right, but unfortunately this important right is ignored during some events," Mazrouie, who also represents Tehran in parliament, said.

"The damage resulting from such illegal actions leads to ignoring people's right of being kept informed of the society's events and deprives state officials from the views of informed observers," he added.

... Payvand News - 6/17/03 ... --

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