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Ebadi Urges Solidarity With Iran's 'Mourning Mothers'

A scene from the protests in Tehran on June 18. The sign reads: "Dear mother and father, we share the sorrow of the loss of your children."

Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has called on women around the world to express solidarity with mourning mothers in Iran by wearing black and gathering once a week in their neighborhood parks.

In an open letter, Ebadi says it has become clear that the number of dead from Iran's postelection crackdown is higher than officials have been willing to admit.

"The dimensions of the disaster are more extensive than what we imagined," Ebadi says.

Iranian officials say about 20 people have died in the postelection violence.

But rights groups that include the International Campaign For Human Rights in Iran say they think the numbers are far higher.

A group that initially met in late June for a rally in a Tehran park (Laleh Park) to commemorate those who have lost their lives or disappeared after participating in protests has been dubbed "The Mourning Mothers of Iran."

The gatherings reportedly have been repeated despite security forces' dispersal tactics and detentions.

In a sign of support for the mothers of those killings, Ebadi asks women around the world to meet in their local parks on Saturdays from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

Copyright (c) 2009 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 07/20/09 ... --

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