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Son Of Deceased Ayatollah Writes Protest Letter To Clerics

Source: RFE/RL

The son of deceased Iranian Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has written a letter to Shi'ite clerics criticizing the recent "sealing" of his father's office, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Ahmad Montazeri spoke to Radio Farda June 17 about the protest letter he published that day.

Green opposition supporter holds picture of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri
during his funeral in Qom - December 2009

On June 13, plainclothes security officers surrounded the late Montazeri's office in the holy city of Qom. The following morning they entered the office and closed it down, according to Ahmad Montazeri.

Montazeri told Radio Farda: "It is unfortunate that a Shi'ite leader of high stature should be humiliated in such a manner after his death." Ahmad said his father's treatment "has no parallel in history."

"No such actions were seen during the imperial rule of the Shah in Iran," he added.

Montazeri said that the office had been "the only remaining memory" of his father. He said it was a place where the late ayatollah's followers would go to discuss religious matters.

Green opposition supporters at funeral of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri in Qom - December 2009

Montazeri said security officers had broken into a safe at his father's office and taken money that was meant to have been distributed this month to religious students.

Montazeri said he was optimistic that his letter and the advocacy of friends would garner support from other clerics. He said that these clerics had yet to "sympathize" with his father's supporters.

Despite his criticism of the authorities, Ahmad said he is specifically seeking support from the other clerics. He said he felt no need to bring the matter to the attention of "international bodies."

Hundreds of thousands attended funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri in Qom in December 2009

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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