Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: December 15 • Printable version    

Religious ceremony disrupted by Iranian security forces

Hashem Sabbaqian

Iranian security forces prevented Tasoa Shiite mourning ceremony at the home of Freedom Movement Party member, Hashem Sabbaqian today.

Jaras website reports that the ceremony was being held today in Sabbaqian’s home in Tehran when plain clothes forces on motorbikes accompanied intelligence ministry officials in dispersing the guests and arresting Hashem Sabbaqian and Hojjatoleslam Soleymani, a member of Qom Seminary Researchers and Teachers.

Sabbaqian reportedly holds a ceremony on the occasion of Tasoa at his home every year.

In its latest report, Al-Arabiah said that Sabbaqian was released after a few hours having signed an oath never to hold a religious ceremony in his home.

Sabbaqian was also arrested in September in another religious gathering in Esfahan along with other members of the Freedom Movement Party including its Secretary General, Ebrahim Yazdi.

Hojjatoleslam Soleymain was also arrested once before while attending a vigil at the graves of the post-election victims in Tehran’s cemetery, Behesht-e Zahra.

A directive approved by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei on the occasion of the Ashura and Tasoa religious ceremonies has directed mosques and community organizations to speak out against “the sedition” which is how the establishment refers to the protests to the alleged rigged victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the elections.

The opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi has described this directive as the start of a fresh wave of attacks against the opposition.

On Ashura Day of last year election protesters made a strong show of force in street demonstrations; however, they were heavily attacked by security forces with some being pushed from the bridges and run over by police and security vehicles. Many were also arrested and handed heavy prison terms.

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