Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities to release a group of women who were beaten and arrested during a peaceful vigil in Tehran at the weekend, the organization said.
"Women who are grieving for children killed by security personnel want to know truth about what happened and have an opportunity to count on support from the state in this issue. They must not face arbitrary detention and beatings," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme said.
About 33 women, members of a group known as the 'Mourning Mothers', were seized during their weekly meeting in Laleh Park, Tehran on Saturday, media outlets reported. Several of the women were beaten and 10 were taken to hospital.
The 'Mourning Mothers' are women whose children have been killed, disappeared or detained in post-election violence in Iran since last June, and their supporters. All 33 women are now being held in Vozara Detention Centre, Tehran.
"These women should be released immediately and unconditionally and an investigation launched into their treatment," Sahraoui said.
According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, on Sunday, protesters gathered and chanted outside the Vozara detention centre in support of the detained women, which led to traffic nearby being blocked.
Security forces reportedly attacked the crowd and violently dispersed it. Two people who were in a passing car taking pictures of the protest were arrested and taken inside the detention centre.
The 'Mourning Mothers' meet in silence for an hour each Saturday near the place and time of the killing of protester Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death was shown in footage circulated around the world in July.
Nine of the women are believed to suffer from illnesses, increasing the concern for their well-being.
"We are seriously concerned about the health of these detained activists and hold the Iranian authorities responsible for their well-being," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said.
This is not the first time that members of the group have been arrested. Up to 29 were arrested on 5 December, although all were released by 7 December.