Last updated: 25 December, 2012

Tehran police say more than 100 thugs arrested

Police in Tehran said on Tuesday they had arrested more than 100 “thugs” as part of an operation to curb violent crime after the brutal assault of a man was captured on a surveillance camera.

“This (Tuesday) morning we apprehended over 100 thugs, some of whom had (criminal) records,” the commander of Tehran metropolitan police, Hossein Sajedinia, said on state television.

“We will parade them in the area where they were making trouble, by a judiciary order,” he added.

Police operations targeting lawbreakers are carried out regularly in Iran but the latest operation comes after a video posted on YouTube showed images of a man being assaulted as he stands at an ATM machine.

The video, captured by the ATM camera, has been shown on state television.

Posted on December 6, the video shows a man attacked by two masked individuals, who rob him of his money, bag and coat. One of the assailants, armed with a machete, leads the assault. The attackers arrive and leave on motorbikes ridden by two other gang members.

On December 12, Iran’s judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani condemned the attack, saying it “caused insecurity.”

“Though such events occur around the world, its occurrence in the Islamic country is shocking for us and the police have to resume confronting the thugs,” he said.

Larijani, quoted by the ISNA news agency, stressed that “based on Islamic teachings there is no difference between using firearms or knives and clubs in a crime, it is moharebeh (waging war against God) and it carries the death sentence.”

Three days later, the deputy head of the Iranian police, Ahmad Reza Radan, announced that the four assailants in the video had been arrested.

Radan on Tuesday, said that due to nationwide police operations, the country had seen a 47 percent reduction in crime since December 12.