Statement Urging Release of Mourning Mothers in Iran

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 12, 2010

The United States urges the immediate and unconditional release of the 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 in Tehran on Saturday, January 9. These 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. 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.

PRN: 2010/037