Iranian Women Say They Were Treated Like Criminals by US Officials

Published June 6th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Seven Iranian delegates to a women's conference at the United Nations complained Tuesday they were treated like criminals by US immigration officials who demanded they be fingerprinted upon arrival in the country, reported the Associated Press.  

The delegates from three non-governmental organizations returned home on the weekend, choosing to miss the conference, which began Monday, rather than submit to the procedure, said AP.  

"We had been invited by the United Nations, so US immigration officials had no right to fingerprint us," member of the Islamic Revolution Women's Association, Sediqeh Hejazi told the agency.  

The Iranian foreign ministry said it would protest to the United Nations over the incident, the agency said.  

The seven women were to attend a conference of grassroots activists parallel to a special General Assembly session on women.  

US federal law requires nonimmigrant visitors from four countries that are on unfriendly terms with the United States - Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan - to be fingerprinted and photographed on arrival in the United States.  

However, the official Iranian delegation to the conference was allowed to enter the United States without being fingerprinted, Hejazi said.  

"We were taken by cars used to transport convicts at the airport. We were treated as if we were criminals," she was quoted as saying - 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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