Security forces disrupt funeral of Mousavi’s father, arrest grieving relatives

Mousavi_Funeral

Not even the recently-deceased 103 year-old father of Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is allowed to rest in peace. Regime police disrupted the elder Mousavi’s funeral Thursday, beating and arresting at least seven, including a son and son-in-law of the deceased.

VOA reports from an AFP dispatch: “Mousavi’s website Kaleme.com says Iranian security personnel deployed in large numbers outside Mousavi’s home in the capital, Tehran, as mourners gathered for Thursday’s funeral.

“It says a confrontation erupted when police in plain clothes took possession of the coffin of Mousavi’s father, Mir Esmaeil, and placed it in an ambulance for transfer to a burial ceremony.

“Kaleme.com says mourners protested the action and Iranian security forces responded by beating them and arresting at least seven.

“Another website with close ties to Mousavi, Rahesabz.net, says Iranian authorities allowed him to visit his father’s house late Wednesday to say his ‘last farewell.’ The elder Mousavi died Wednesday [March 30].”

It is common for regime police to disrupt funerals of political opponents by taking physical possession of the bodies and even to prevent their burial near the nation’s capital or other population centers.

PBS Tehran Bureau carries its own report of the assault on the funeral:

“The public funeral of Mir Esmail Mousavi, father of Mir Hossein Mousavi, was disrupted by security and intelligence forces. The funeral procession was supposed to begin at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Tehran time, from the home of the elder Mousavi.

“According to several eyewitnesses, security agents took control of the neighborhood on Wednesday night and occupied the roofs of many houses in order to tape the procession and identify the people taking part in the funeral.

“Despite this, thousands of people streamed to the elder Mousavi’s home to pay their last respects and read verses from the Qur’an in the Muslim tradition. Dr. Ghasemzadeh, son-in-law of Grand Ayatollah Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardabili, a Green Movement supporter who is close to the reformists, represented him and on his behalf paid his respects and conveyed his condolences to the family. Many of the political prisoners who are on furlough or have been released also attended the funeral.

“At 9 a.m. Thursday, the body of the elder Mousavi was brought out of his home and carried by the people. They shouted the traditional Islamic ‘La elaha-ellallah, Muhammad rasoul-allah’ — There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is God’s Prophet — that is said for the dead while his body is borne.

As soon as the crowd carrying the body entered the main street, hundreds of security forces and policemen attacked the mourners and forcibly put the body in an ambulance. As people protested, the police continued to attack. The mourners then began to shout “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein” — Oh (Imam) Hossein (Shiism’s Third Imam), Mir Hossein (Mousavi).

Mir Hassan Mousavi — brother of Mir Hossein Mousavi and father of Seyyed Ali Mousavi, who was assassinated during the Day of Ashura demonstrations on December 27, 2009 — protested loudly what the police were doing and was himself arrested. Reports indicate that he was released several hours later.

Mousavi’s son-in-law Javad Salimi — three of whose brothers were killed in the Iran-Iraq War — was also attacked by the security forces and arrested along with a number of other Mousavi family members. Some were released several hours later, but there is no information on the whereabouts of the several who remain in detention as of early Friday.

“Also arrested was Hojatoleslam Nour Elahian, a prominent clerical member of Mousavi’s 2009 presidential campaign. Dr. Ali Shakouri Rad, member of the central committee of the Islamic Iran Participation Front — the leading reformist group, which has been outlawed by the regime — was arrested as well and subsequently released.

The presence of the security and intelligence forces was so heavy that several of the intelligence minister’s deputies were on hand as were several officers from the intelligence unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Revolutionary Guard special forces surrounded the entire neighborhood. At least seven people were arrested.

Click here for the rest of the PBS Tehran Bureau article.

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