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RULER   :  Archive   :  2001   :  IR Judicial Jan 2001


Judicial CP - January 2001

Corpun file 24315 at


The Times, London, 4 January 2001, p.16

Women partygoers flogged in Iran

From Michael Theodolou in Nicosia

TWO Britons were among more than 260 people arrested in Iran during two raids on New Year's Eve party celebrations in which two Arab diplomats were also detained, reports from Iran said yesterday.

Some of those arrested either paid large fines or were flogged before their release, according to relatives. The arrests followed a warning by religious police of a drive against unIslamic behaviour.

Those hauled in by members of the Islamic Basij militia during raids on two gatherings were mostly young Iranians from the well-of northern suburbs of the capital, Tehran, where Western-style parties are common.

Click to enlarge

Most were charged with mingling with the opposite sex and drinking alcohol, both of which are forbidden in the Islamic republic, while some women were accused of dressing in an inappropriate manner.

The British Embassy in Tehran said that none of its 22 diplomats in the capital was involved and it knew of no other British citizens being held in custody. Very few Britons live and work in the Islamic Republic, although many businessmen visit.

Such crackdowns have been rare in recent years and the raids were seen as a display of muscle-flexing by the old guard, which still wields considerable power despite crushing defeats in recent elections by supporters of the popular reformist President Khatami.

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