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Iranian Official: Detained Intellectual Cannot Have Lawyer

A top Iranian official says a philosopher detained in Iran cannot have a lawyer at this stage of proceedings against him.

Justice Minister Jamal Karimirad told journalists Tuesday the case of the Canadian-Iranian Ramin Jahanbeglou is "security related."

Jahanbeglou, a Harvard-educated philosopher who has written on democracy, was arrested last month in Tehran.

In other news, the justice minister said police detained at least 70 people who demonstrated on Monday in favor of equal rights for women. More than 100 people attended the demonstration in central Tehran, which was broken up by police. Media reports say police, wielding sticks, beat some of the women.

Karimirad said the demonstration was illegal, but he promised an investigation if people were beaten.

Karimirad said 42 of the detainees were women. The demonstrators were protesting Iran's polygamy law, which allows men to have more than one wife. They were also protesting laws that ban women from becoming judges.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.