Protesters overwhelm security forces at burial site in Iran
Thousands and possibly tens of thousands of mourners, many of them black-clad young women carrying roses, overwhelmed security forces today at Tehran's largest cemetery to gather around the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman whose videotaped shooting at a June 20 demonstration stunned the world.This sounds like another general uprising by the women of Tehran. That has to be scary for the Ayatollahs. They just do not deal well with women out of control.
Mourners in a long procession converged on the burial site, kicking up clouds of dust as they walked. "Death to the dictator," they chanted. "Neda is not dead. This government is dead."
Uniformed security forces initially clashed violently today with some of the mourners, supporters and leaders of the opposition, who were there to protest and grieve for those killed in recent unrest. Unsuccessful presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi attempted to attend the graveside ceremony marking the religiously significant 40th day since the death of Agha-Soltan and others killed in the fighting.At first, mourners were confronted by security forces, who struck some with batons and made arrests in an attempt to bar them from gathering at Tehran's Behesht Zahra cemetery, the country's largest. The tree-lined streets leading to the graves of Agha-Soltan and others were blocked by riot police, the witness said.
"Oh, Hossein! Mir-Hossein," the mourners chanted in support of him.
According to one witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, Mousavi stepped out of his car only to be surrounded by police, who forced him back into his vehicle and out of the cemetery.
The witness said protesters identified and violently confronted several plainclothes Basiji militiamen.
"Police, police, support us," the crowd chanted. "God is great!"
But as people poured out of the nearby subway station and taxis along the highway, security forces retreated. One witness said police released detainees and began cooperating with the mourners, directing them to Section 257 of the cemetery, where Agha-Soltan and others were buried.