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Iran: Government urged to severely punish law-breaking groups

`Iran News' on Sunday highlighted the need of the government to make in as unambiguous terms as possible that people found to take the law into their hands will be swiftly and severely dealt with, IRNA reported from Tehran.

On no account should anyone who has committed an unspeakable crime such as murder be allowed to justify or explain away his or her transgression by saying that they committed the crime according to God's will or Islamic principles," added the English-language paper in its editorial.

The closed door trial of six former security officials accused of committing several murders in Kerman province is currently underway. The defendant aged between 19-22 years were apparently motivated by personal reasons when they allegedly murdered two young unmarried couples.

The indicted were members of the provincial religious police. The prosecution asserts that the accused perpetrated their crimes because of moral objections to the personal relationship between the victims.

It is to be noted that another serial murderer name Saeed Hanai made headlines a few years ago in Iran when he murdered a number of prostitute on moral objection in the holy city of Mashad, it recalled.

Acute social shortcomings and problem together with responses and actions by the government that have been less than adequate are among the primary reasons for this type of vigilante killings in the country, it said.

Worse still, the increasing number of unemployed, which some experts have called the "army of crisis" is responsible for exerting even more social pressures on the society at large, with the ultimate effect of increased poverty, crime and corruption, it said.

Last but not the least, the overpopulation explosion in some major cities of the country is another major contributing factor to these social evils, it lamented.

But all said and done, the government is obligated to take preventive and preemptive measures to confront these social harms, emphasized the daily.

"The officials in charge cannot remain passive and only react to events such as another episode of serial killings before doing something concrete, far-reaching and substantial about it," the daily pointed out.

"Confronting social misfits, reuniting runaways and street women with their families or providing them shelter as well as education and meaningful employment, applying measured cultural controls on society, making it clear that not all types of behavior would be tolerated," are some steps to overcome these social problem, to say the least, the paper concluded.

... Payvand News - 5/4/03 ... --

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