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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Iranian opposition urges big turnout for funeral

Hoping to use a large turnout for political gain, Iran's opposition has called for opposition members to attend the funeral of Ezzatollah Sehabi, an 81-year old opponent of the regime who died of a stroke on Tuesday.
Opposition websites carried statements urging broad participation in Sahabi's funeral, which will be held in Lavasan on Wednesday. They said there was already a heavy security presence in the northeastern city in anticipation of the event.

Sahabi served as budget chief in the administration formed after Iran's 1979 revolution. He was also elected to the first post-revolutionary parliament but was sidelined by the powerful Islamic clergy in the 1980s.

A longtime activist, Sahabi was jailed both before and after the revolution and spent a total of 15 years behind bars on various charges including efforts to overthrow Islamic rule.

His daughter, Haleh Sahabi, is one of many Iranian activists arrested following a spate of protests in Iran in 2009. She is serving her two-year jail sentence.

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