'Iranian activists, police clash in Women's Day protest'

Heavy police presence reported in Tehran; dozens of women rounded up, beaten in Khartoum while attempting to stage anti-rape protest.

Iranian police in Tehran Women's Day protest 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Iranian police in Tehran Women's Day protest 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A heavy police presence was reported in north-west Tehran on Tuesday and a video uploaded on YouTube showed Iranian security forces beating protesters in what was apparently a demonstration for International Women's Day.
Women's rights activists have called for demonstrations to advocate and defend the rights of both men and women in Iran, as well as more general democratic principles, BBC Farsi reported.
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In the video shown below, police can be seen kicking and beating what appear to be protesters on the streets of Tehran Tuesday.
The BBC also reported a heavy police presence in various parts of Tehran.
Also on Tuesday, Sudanese riot police in Khartoum arrested more than 40 women minutes after they started a protest against rape and rights abuses, witnesses said in the latest sign of a crackdown on dissent.
Sudanese women's groups organized the protest against discriminatory laws on Tuesday -- marked as International Women's Day across the world.
Before the rally, organizers said they were enraged by reports of the arrest and rape of Safiya Eshaq, a supporter of anti-government activist group Girifna, in Khartoum last month.
Up to 60 women, waving banners and shouting slogans, gathered in the middle of one the busiest streets in the Khartoum suburb Omdurman just before 4 p.m. (1300 GMT), and were watched by more than 250 police and security officers said a Reuters witness.
Within 10 minutes officers bundled 30 of the women into the back of a truck. When the women continued to protest inside the vehicle, officers entered and beat some of them with batons, said the witness.
Police later rounded up around 12 women in the streets around the scene and drove them to a police station, said the witness.
"It is a demonstration against women's discrimination. It is not a political organization," protest organizer Rasha Awad told Reuters before the event.