Iran News ...


Police Prevents Security Forces from Intervening in Mokhtari-Pouyandeh Memorial - Iran's writers' associations had made plans to commemorate the 11th anniversary of death of Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh by holding a gathering on Friday December 4th at Emamzadeh Taher cemetery at Mehrshahr in Karaj (see announcement in Persian). These two writers were killed 11 years ago in what has been dubbed as "serial murders" by Iran's Intelligence Ministry agents as part of a plot to eliminate intellectuals and political personalities. On November 22nd 1998, Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar were brutally murdered in their home by agents of the Ministry of Information. While the Iranian society was still chocked by the news of this abject crime, two members of Iran's writers' associations, Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh disappeared and were found dead on December 3rd and December 10t, 1998, respectively.

However, on Friday the security and police forces, whose number was way more than previous years, had cordoned Emamzadeh Taher cemetery to prevent the memorial program from taking place. The police told Mokhtari and Pouyandeh families that if the people do not leave the area speedily, they will be dispersed by the security forces. Maryam Hosseinzadeh, wife of late Mohammad Mokhtari, and her son Siavash Mokhtari, objected to these threats and had a brief arguments with the police official in charge. Following this, the official decided to prevent the security and riot forces from intervening in the program. Even so, the participants were prevented from delivering speeches or reciting poetry. And all the while government agents were taking photos and videos from the people creating an environment of fear which was unprecedented as compared to prior years.


The photographer only took photos from far and avoided taking shots from the security forces since his camera would have been confiscated otherwise

The officials had told the families on Thursday not to hold the program or come to the cemetery. Even so, the families, university students, and members of Iran's writers' associations gathered at Emamzadeh Taher, just as they've been doing in the past years, to pay homage to the assassinated writers. However, after they were prevented from holding the memorial at the cemetery, members of the writers' associations gathered at the house of Ali Ashraf Darvishian and, in the presence of the families of Mokhtari and Pouyandeh, held the program there.

It should be noted that in all these years, the Islamic Republic government has never allowed a respectable program be held for these writers, and in the past two years, they have even prevented the families and friends from  gathering their grave sites at Emamzadeh Taher.

Parastou Forouhar and Siavash Mokhtari

While the people behind the criminal acts committed against Mokhtari, Pouyandehand and Forouhars were exposed by President Khatami's administration, and while some of the agents were tried in court, no one has been punished for them. Saeed Emami, who was identified as the mastermind of the operation, reportedly committed suicide while being held at a prison in Tehran thus burying many of the secrets of the operation.

Families meanwhile continue to demand justice (see Justice Denied: Report to the Nation)

Mariam Hosseinzadeh and Parstou Forouhar

... Payvand News - 12/06/09 ... --

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