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Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 31, 2006
Question Taken at the January 30 Daily Press Briefing

IRAN: Government Crackdown on Bus Driver Demonstrations

Question:   What is the U.S. reaction to reports of violence and the arrest of bus drivers in Iran?

Answer:   We condemn the Iranian Government's forcible suppression of peaceful demonstrations by bus drivers in Tehran over the past few weeks. The attempts of these Iranian workers to seek the redress of legitimate grievances and the right to collectively bargain have been met by the Iranian Government with arrests, threats, and intimidation.

As we have noted in our Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Iran, the Iranian Government's poor record on freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble continues to deteriorate. Incidents such as these clearly illustrate that the Government of Iran is engaged in the systematic oppression of its citizens, including the persecution of individuals for religious, political and other reasons. We support the Iranian people's right to a free and open society, and urge the Government of Iran to respect the rights of its citizens to express themselves freely without fear of intimidation or imprisonment.

2006/122


Released on January 30, 2006

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