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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 21:17 GMT 22:17 UK
Iranian judges 'to carry weapons'
By Pam O'Toole
BBC News, Tehran

File photo of Hassan Moghaddas from November 2000
Hassan Moghaddas was shot dead earlier this month
Iranian judges have been given approval to carry guns and to use them if they feel threatened after a judge was shot in an attack in Tehran, officials say.

Mohammed Reza Aghazadeh was shot outside his home in the capital, sustaining injuries to his eye.

He was said to be investigating cases of land and property corruption near Karaj, a satellite town west of Tehran.

The incident comes less than a month after another judge was killed by a gunman on a motorcycle in Tehran.

Series of attacks

Hassan Moghaddas was a prominent judge who was involved in a number of high-profile political cases involving human rights or freedom of speech and who had jailed a number of prominent dissidents.

In a third incident over recent weeks, another judge is said to have had acid thrown in his face in a satellite town near the Iranian capital.

So far no one has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks and Iranian officials say its not clear if they are linked.

Attacks against senior members of Iran's hardline judiciary have been rare in recent years.

During the 1990s Iran's armed exiled opposition group, the MKO, assassinated a number of Iranian officials.


SEE ALSO:
Prominent Iranian judge shot dead
02 Aug 05 |  Middle East
Country profile: Iran
13 Aug 04 |  Country profiles


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