MPs act on prostitute killings
Monday, 16 April,
2001, 20:08 GMT 21:08 UK
BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba
has called a meeting to discuss the brutal murders of several
prostitutes in the eastern city of Mashhad
after it was reported that extremist religious
groups could be behind the killings.
serial killings of prostitutes in Mashhad
is gradually becoming a political issue
parliament's National Security Committee
has called on intelligence and interior
ministers as well as the commander of
the national police to appear in the chamber
next week to explain why at least 12 women
have been murdered in the city in the past
representing Mashhad, Ali Tajernia,
has told reporters that extremist Islamic
groups are active in the city and they may
have been involved in the killings.
Mr Tajernia said
these religious groups may want
to create insecurity in the country and
undermine the government of reformist
President Mohammad Khatami.
A suspect arrested
a few days ago in connection with the murders was quoted as
saying Iranian society needed to be cleansed
of corrupt women.
But he denied
playing any direct role in the murders.
Mashhad is home to
an important Shi'a shrine that attracts millions of pilgrims every
newspaper has said that since reports of the murders surfaced,
prostitutes rarely come out at night.
Most of the
victims had criminal records for drug dealing as well as
prostitution. It has also been suggested that Islamic vigilantes
may have had access to the police files
and they easily found the addresses of