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Repression in Iran

It has been three years since Canadian-Iranian photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested by Iranian security forces, taken to Tehran's Evin prison, and beaten to death. She had been taking photographs of an anti-government demonstration outside the prison gates. To date, no one has been held accountable for Ms. Kazemi's murder, and Iran's clerical regime has refused to release her body to her son in Canada.

Another prominent Iranian who supporters fear may be in danger is Ali Akbar Mossav Khoeini. Mr. Khoeini, a human rights activist and former reformist member of Iran's parliament, was arrested in June during a demonstration in Tehran favor of equal rights for women. The demonstration was violently disrupted by club-wielding security agents, and close to seventy demonstrators were arrested. Reportedly all have been released, except for Mr. Khoeini. Two leading Iranian women's rights activists, Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani and Parvin Ardalan, are set to face charges of "acting against national security" for calling for the demonstration.

The brutally repressive behavior of Iran's clerical regime is a betrayal of the Iranian people. President George W. Bush spoke recently of their rich history, vibrant culture, and myriad contributions to civilization:

"When Cyrus the Great led the Iranian people more than two thousand five hundred years ago, he delivered one of the world's first declarations of individual rights, including the right to worship God in freedom. Through the centuries, Iranians have achieved distinction in medicine and science and poetry and philosophy, and countless other fields."

"The Iranian regime. . . .denies the aspirations of its people for freedom," says Mr. Bush. "We look forward to the day," he says, "when the people of Iran enjoy the full fruits of liberty."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.