Iranian women's rights activists arrested

TEHRAN, June 27 (UPI) -- Two Iranian activists have been arrested as a group of political prisoners ended a hunger strike protesting the death of a women's rights activist, friends say.

Opposition Web site said friends of documentary filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi, 34, confirm she was arrested in her house Sunday by intelligence agents while Maryam Majd, 25, a photojournalist and women's rights campaigner, was arrested Friday, The Washington Post reported Monday.


The arrests came at the end a hunger strike by prisoners protesting the death of Haleh Sahabi, 54, allegedly beaten by security forces breaking up a June 1 funeral procession for her father, a renowned dissident.

Authorities have denied the allegation, saying Sahabi suffered a heart attack during the melee.

The hunger strike allegedly ended after prominent activists intervened and asked them to eat again, the Post reported.

Iranian leaders say they are reaching out to arrested politicians, journalists and activists in an attempt to get them to participate in parliamentary elections scheduled for next March.

Mohammad Khatami, one of the leaders of Iran's reformist movement, said Friday his group would only participate under certain conditions.

"The official recognition of parties, an independent press and the freeing of political prisoners are our main demands," Mohammad Reza Khatami told the Iranian Labor News Agency. "Anyone who wants lively elections must bring about these conditions."


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