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Speedy burial of activist at night Print E-mail

 

Activist Haleh Sahabi, who died yesterday at the funeral of her dissident father, was buried Wednesday night by Iranian security forces.

Opposition websites report that the Sahabi family had intended to hold their own ceremony, but security forces took possession of her remains by force and transferred her to Lavasan, northeast of Tehran, for a swift burial.

Jaras website reports that Sahabi was laid to rest at 10PM with 2,000 mourners in attendance, along with a substantial number of police and security force personnel. Jaras reports that several participants were arrested once the ceremony ended.

Haleh Sahabi died during an altercation with security forces at the funeral of her father, the prominent dissident Ezzatollah Sahabi.

The government has announced that Haleh Sahabi died from a cardiac arrest brought on by the stress of losing her father, the heat and her history of heart disease. However, a number of her relatives report that her death was the result of being beaten by security forces.


U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner has called on Iran to investigate her death.

While the Sahabis are reportedly being pressured to announce that Haleh Sahabi died from natural causes, opposition websites call her death a "martyrdom" and hold senior Islamic Republic officials responsible.

Ahmad Montazeri, the son of the late dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, has told Persian BBC that he witnessed Haleh Sahabi being pushed and beaten by the security forces, and he was certain they caused her death.

Haleh Sahabi, a prominent social activist and a member of the Council of Mothers for Peace, was arrested during the protests that broke out in 2009 after the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She began serving a two-year prison sentence last February for her involvement in the protests.

Her father, the leader of the Nationalist-religious Coalition, was a prominent government critic both before and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He died on Tuesday at age 81, after spending several days in a coma.

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