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Author Topic:   Iran Court Rejects Assault Claim
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posted February 27, 2001 14:43     Click Here to See the Profile for Sudabeh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Monday February 26 2:40 PM ET

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A Tehran court on Monday denied accusations by a reformist lawmaker and threatened to take legal action against her for claiming that male security officers assaulted a female journalist, the state-run radio reported.

Chief of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, Ali Mobashsheri, said remarks by Fatemeh Haqiqatjou were ``sheer lies,'' Tehran radio said.

In a speech Sunday in the Majlis, or parliament, Haqiqatjou said armed security men assaulted Fariba Davoudi Mohajer, a journalist at the reformist newspaper Hambastegi, before taking her from her home on orders of the judiciary on Feb. 15.

``It was women and not men judiciary officers who searched Davoudi's house under a legal order. Theym discovered two handguns. Mohajer's husband attacked officers and broke the hand of one of them. Still, officers politely carried out their responsibilities,'' the radio quoted Mobashsheri as saying. ``Haqiqatjou should accept responsibility for her false remarks.''

It is taboo in Iran for a man to touch a woman he does not know.

Mobashsheri also was quoted as saying that Mohajer - who is still being held - wrote to the parliament speaker denying Haqiqatjou's remarks.

Haqiqatjou's speech called on Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to stop hard-liners from abusing citizens' rights.

Mohajer's husband, Mohammad Bakhtiyar, rejected Mobashsheri's claims. Bakhtiyar, a member of the revolutionary guards, said there was one handgun in his house.

``I have one licensed handgun. I have resigned, but I cannot hand over my gun before my resignation is confirmed. ... I did not attack anyone and I didn't see any women officers. It was armed plain-clothed men security forces who resorted to violence, searched our bedroom, assaulted my wife and took her away,'' Bakhtiyar told The Associated Press.

Hard-liners have mounted a campaign against reformists in the media, closing newspapers and arresting journalists, since losing control of parliament a year ago. The struggle between reformists and hard-liners has intensified ahead of the June presidential elections.

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