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Iranian security forces delay burial of activist

06/13/11 Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iranian security forces held up the burial of Reza Hoda Saber this morning, surrounding the family and mourners in anticipation of outbursts of protest against the death of the jailed activist, an opposition website reports.

Reza Hoda Saber
Reza Hoda Saber

Kaleme writes that the funeral and burial of Hoda Saber, the jailed journalist and Nationalist-Religious activist, was supposed to be held this morning at 7:30 AM. Instead it was carried out at noon while "family and mourners were completely under siege by security forces."

Kaleme reports that a large contingent of security forces threatened and verbally abused funeral attendees.

Hoda Saber died on Saturday following a nearly 10-day hunger strike to protest the death of activist Haleh Sahabi at the funeral of her father, Ezzatollah Sahabi, who led the Nationalist-Religious Coalition of Iran.

Freedom -- Cartoon by Mana Neyestani
Cartoon by Mana Neyestani

The Saber family has told the media that Reza began feeling a severe pain around 4PM on Friday, but prison authorities ignored his condition and waited more than two hours before transferring him to hospital.

Family members maintain that the delay was instrumental in causing his death and say they have filed a legal complaint against authorities, both for that delay and for failing to immediately inform the family of his death.

The Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope issued a statement today condemning the government's role in bringing about the death of Hoda Saber. It declared that the government's "negligence" in protecting fundamental civil rights and the rule of law is creating a "new disaster every day" in the Islamic Republic.

Yesterday, Reporters Without Borders issued a statement accusing the Islamic Republic government of causing the death of Hoda Saber by neglecting his medical needs and by arbitrarily arresting him in the first place.

Hoda Saber had been arrested twice before his final arrest on August 2, 2009.

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