Iran police arrest drunk students at party-agency

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TEHRAN, Nov 3 (Reuters) Police have arrested 32 Iranian students for being drunk and ''half-nude'' at a party in Karaj, a town near the capital, Iran's ISNA news agency reported today.

Under Iran's Islamic laws, women are obliged to cover their hair and bodies, and alcohol is banned. Men and women are not allowed to mix freely if they are not related.

''Police forces arrested 11 girls and 21 boys on Thursday night for drinking alcoholic drinks and being half-nude,'' Colonel Nader Sarkari was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

''They were all university students,'' he said, adding they were celebrating a fellow student's success in a competition abroad. He did not give details.

If a woman does not fully observe the Islamic dress code, the authorities may brand her ''half-nude''. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.

Iran police have been cracking down on what the authorities consider ''immoral behaviour'' since the start of the summer. In the past such crackdowns have usually only last a few weeks.

Police have been patrolling big cities, including Tehran. Police said last month they had warned 122,000 people, mostly women flouting dress codes, and detained hundreds. Those held are usually released after a few hours.

REUTERS AM AS2100

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