Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Iran protestors clash during funeral

Fresh clashes have broken out between pro and anti government demonstrators in Tehran during the funeral of a student killed in the protests on Monday 14th February. The opposing groups claim the victim to be one of their own, but it is yet unclear which side Sanea Jaleh belonged to. Jaleh was one of two men killed on Monday when thousands of people took to the streets in more than a year.

The clashes, similar to those that have recently swept North Africa and the Middle East, transpired during Jaleh's funeral procession in central Tehran. Police blocked off streets near Tehran University, and only a select number of people could join in the procession.

A report on State-owned channel said: "Students and the people attending the funeral ceremony... have clashed with a limited number of people apparently linked to the sedition [opposition] movement and forced them out by chanting slogans of death to hypocrites." It gave no further details of the injuries.

On Monday, thousands of supporters of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both currently under house arrest, took to the streets in a bid to voice their frustrations. Shortly after the demonstrations, a number of Iranian MPs have called for the two opposition leaders to be executed.

Responding to the call, Karroubi stated: "I am not afraid of any kind of threat and as a soldier of this great nation for the past almost 50 years, I am ready to pay any price." In a separate statement about the protests, Mousavi said the rally on the 14th February was “a great achievement”.

Sources: BBC News, FT, New York Times, AFP, Aljazeera

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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