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Iranian authorities impede gathering at cemetery

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Heavy presence of Iranian security forces around the Khavaran Cemetery impeding families of executed dissidents of the 1980s from entering the site has been reported to Zamaneh.

 Khavaran Cemetery (file photo)

Ministry of Intelligence forces in plain clothes and security forces and the Revolutionary Guards in uniform have blocked the entrance of the Cemetery stopping families of the victims of the political executions of the 1980s from attending their annual mourning rituals.

Every year, these families gather on the last Friday of the Iranian year at the field of flowers in Khavaran to pay their respects to their lost kin and spend a few moments there with flowers in their hands.

Today government forces blocked the entrance of the cemetery and those who had arrived earlier and already entered the cemetery were reportedly harassed and insulted by the security forces. They were also filmed and told to produce identification cards by the authorities.

The nearby Baha'i Cemetery was also under strict surveillance and limited access.

The flower fields of Khavaran are the burial grounds of thousands of political prisoners who were executed in the 1980s by the Islamic Republic. It is located close to the Baha'i and Armenian cemeteries. Last year the authorities planted trees in this part of the cemetery but it failed to dissuade the families of the victims from gathering again at the site.

In the eighties, the Islamic Republic executed thousands of political activists which were accused of belonging to dissident groups. Most of the executed prisoners in Tehran prisons were taken to the Khavaran Cemetery for burial.

There are no exact statistics about the number of people who were buried at this site. It is believed that over five thousand victims of the 1980s executions were buried there.

... Payvand News - 03/19/10 ... --

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