Iran protest dispersed by force: witnesses

TEHRAN — Iranian security forces on Saturday fired in the air to disperse several hundred people protesting against the death at her father’s funeral of political and social activist Haleh Sahabi, witnesses said.

The protesters had tried to gather to gather in silent groups outside the Hosseini Ershad mosque in northern Tehran, a traditional site for reformists in the Iranian regime, the witnesses told AFP.

Security forces used batons and fired shots in the air to disperse them, and made around 15 arrests, they said.

AFP was not able to confirm the information directly, as the foreign media are forbidden from covering opposition demonstrations in Iran.

There had been calls on Facebook and several opposition websites for a protest at the mosque against the death of Sahabi, daughter of veteran opposition figure Ezatollah Sahabi.

The Iranian opposition website Kaleme.com reported that the 54-year-old died from cardiac arrest on Wednesday when she was confronted by security forces at her father’s funeral.

Washington on Thursday blamed security forces for her death.

“Eyewitness and reliable accounts of Haleh Sahabi’s death yesterday at her father’s funeral in Iran are making it clear that Ms Sahabi died as a result of reprehensible actions taken by Iranian security forces,” said Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman.
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