U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging Tehran to release dozens of members of the Mourning Mothers group who, according to reports, were violently dispersed and arrested by Iranian security forces during a peaceful vigil.
According to the State Department the women, whose children have been killed, detained, or have gone missing in post-election violence in Iran, were exercising their universal right to peaceful expression, as they do every Saturday in a park not far from where Neda Agha-Soltan was killed on June 20. They have reportedly done nothing more than peacefully express their grief and seek accountability from their government.
"As a woman, a mother and a person of conscience, my heart goes out to them and their families," Clinton said. "If the Iranian government wants the respect of the international community, it must respect the rights of its people. It must govern through consent, and not coercion."