Anger in Iran after Harassment against Dozens of Girls is Revealed

Anger in Iran after Harassment against Dozens of Girls is Revealed

Monday, 18 June, 2018 - 08:15
Anger has swept Iran over sexual harassment revelations targeting dozens of girls. (AFP)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
The revelation that 41 girls were victims of sexual abuse in Iran’s Balochistan province sent shockwaves throughout the country over the past two days.

The condemnations by Iranian officials on Sunday attempted to contain the anger of the public, which was voiced in demonstrations that were dispersed by force.

Imam Mawlawi Tayyib dropped the harassment bombshell during a Friday prayer sermon in the city of Iranshahr. He disclosed the information at the request of the families of the victims.

He called on Iranian officials to launch a probe in the claims and seriously pursue the perpetrators. Moreover, he revealed that a number of the abusers kidnapped and raped girls, with some incidents taking place during the holy month of Ramadan, which ended last week.

Dozens of angry Iranians protested in front of the district’s municipal headquarters, demanding the quick prosecution of the perpetrators. The judiciary announced that it was beginning its search for those involved in several cities in southeastern Iran.

At least six protesters were arrested as the security forces attempted to break up the rallies, said Balochistan activists.

Baloch sources revealed that the perpetrators were members of the security and Basij forces.

Iran’s ILNA news agency reported that fears over their reputation were deterring the majority of victims’ families from filing harassment complaints. The accurate number of victims has not yet been determined, added ILNA.

The government entered the fray with Iranian Minister of Interior Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli ordering Balochistan to open an investigation and announce its outcome to the public, revealed the Fars News Agency.

Mohammad Naim Aminifard, an MP from Iranshahr, told the media that several of the victims have since received medical support. A judicial chief in the city refused to confirm the information, saying only three victims have stepped forward.

The Health Ministry announced that it was dispatching a team of specialists to Iranshahr to join the investigation.

One suspect has since been arrested.

General Prosecutor in Balochistan Mohammed Khani said that four people were behind the kidnapping of girls, who would be abducted off the streets.

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