Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Publish date: December 24 • Printable version    

Iranian cleric's memorial services organized by reformists

Reformist website, Jaras announced the establishment of “the headquarters for the organization of Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral and memorial services.”

The announcement says that the organization has been established in response to the “government’s ban on memorial services for the leading Shiite cleric.”

The National Security Supreme Council has banned memorial services for the deceased cleric all across the country except in Najafabad, his hometown and the holy city of Qom.

Yesterday’s memorial services were violently put down by security forces, and mourners were attacked with tear bombs, batons and clubs.

In Qom, following the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri which was attended by tens of thousands of mourners, pro-government forces in plain clothes attacked the Shiite cleric’s home, breaking windows and tearing his pictures and funereal banners.

Jaras announced that the seventh day of his death will be commemorated on Ashura all across the country. Shiites customarily attend mourning processions on Ashura to mourn the death of their third leader, Imam Hosein.

Election protesters had announced earlier that they would rally supporters on Ashura to once more protest the alleged fraud in the June presidential elections that secured Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election. Now that the day has coincided with the seventh day of Ayatollah Montazeri’s passing away, the rally becomes more significant and perhaps more worrisome for the establishment.

Ayatollah Montazeri’s website has been reportedly blocked by the cyber department of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

Ayatollah Montazeri regularly published his political and religious analyses and his critical views of the country’s situation on his site. He was the first leading Shiite cleric to launch an internet site as a means of reaching his supporters.

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri was one of the highest authorities of the Shiite religion. He was also the most outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic and in the post-election events, he expressed his full-fledged support for election protesters at every turn.

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