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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Iranian regime murders daughter at father's funeral

In an earlier post, I reported that the Iranian opposition had urged a big turnout for the funeral of Ezzatollah Sahabi (or Sehabi), a former regime official who had been on the outs with the Islamic rulers in Iran for some thirty years.

Iranian security forces disrupted the funeral, and struck and killed Haleh Sahabi, Ezzatollah Sahabi's 57-year old dissident daughter.
Dr. Haleh Sahabi, daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi, who passed away on Monday, died when security forces attacked the funeral of her father. According to Mizan Press, a website close to nationalist-religious groups, when Ezatollah Sahabi's body was brought out of his home to be taken to the cemetery, security forces attacked Haleh Sahabi to prevent her from overseeing the funeral. A heated argument began, and the security forces forcefully took the elder Sahabi's body away. According to Yahya Shamekhi, Haleh Sahabi's son, that moment his mother collapsed. Doctors said that she died from cardiac arrest.

Haleh Sahabi was 57 years old. Convicted of anti-state charges after participating in the protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election, she was serving a two-year prison sentence and had been released temporarily to participate in her father's funeral. She was a researcher of Qur'anic verses and a member of the Mothers of Peace Society.

The security forces put tremendous pressure on the Sahabi family to immediately bury Haleh Sahabi as well. According to the website Melli Mazhabi -- the official site of the Religious-Nationalist Coalition, which Ezatollah Sahabi headed -- the family relented and took her body to the Lavasan cemetery, where her father had just been interred. Shamekhi told the pro-Green Movement website Rahe Sabz that his mother will be buried at night in the dark.

Ahmad Montazeri, son of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, told Rahe Sabz, "I was only a few meters away from her. The security forces tried to take away a large poster of Ezatollah Sahabi that his daughter was carrying. After she resisted it, the security agent hit her with his elbow, causing her to fall down and faint. She was taken to a hospital, but unfortunately she passed away there." Montazeri added, "There were a number of security and plainclothes officers that were shouting, laughing loudly, and trying to disturb the funeral. In particularly, their commander insulted the people. They were set on inciting chaos and violence. I was present while they were washing the late Sahabi. The security forces entered there and began shouting, insulting and provoking the people. But because no one was interested, they became angrier." He said that at least 11 people were arrested, including his own son.

Mansoor Sahabi, Haleh's uncle, told Rahe Sabz that the reason she passed away was that she was hit in her chest and abdomen, which caused her to have a heart attack. When told that the pro-government media have claimed that she was not attacked, Mansoor Sahabi responded that they attacked her with great force. He added that a well-known security agent was involved and that there are photographs that show the attack. He said that Dr. Habibollah Peyman, who heads the Movement of Militant Muslims and is a member of the Religious-Nationalist Coalition, was with her when they took her to a hospital, but apparently he has been arrested. According to Mansoor Sahabi, 30 people were arrested. IRNA, the state news agency, claimed that the figure was only five people.

Mansoor Sahabi also said that, to people's astonishment, the security forces grabbed Ezatollah Sahabi's corpse and threw it into a pickup truck. If they treated the deceased in that manner in the presence of the mourners, he observed, who knows what they did elsewhere. He added that the security forces prevented the mourners from saying the prayer for the dead, which was supposed to have been led by Ahmad Montazeri. He described how his own sister, already in tears, was attacked and thrown onto the sidewalk. According to him, up to ten people would attack a single person. Fereydoon Sahabi, Ezatollah's brother, confirmed that the security forces attacked the people.
But the Obama administration and the G8 are too busy worrying about the 'Palestinians' to worry about this sort of thing.

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