Thousands of Iranians attending the funeral of a dissident ayatollah broke into chants against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and called for the release of political prisoners, opposition websites have reported, according to Golnaz Esfandiari, reporting for Radio Free Europe.
Amateur videos said to be from the June 4 funeral appear to confirm the reports.
According to reports, tens of thousands of people, including students from seminaries in Isfahan and other cities, attended the funeral.
The participants reportedly called for the release of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who are under house arrest.
Musavi, a former prime minister and presidential candidate, and Karrubi, also a former presidential candidate and parliament speaker, have been under house arrest since February 2011. Musavi’s wife, Zahra Rahvanard, is also under house arrest.
This video apparently shows the protesters chanting, “Oh Hossein, Mir Hossein!” and “Karrubi and Musavi must be released!”
There were also reportedly chants in support of late dissident Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who was considered the spiritual father of Iran’s opposition Green Movement. Montazeri’s funeral in 2009 turned into a massive antiestablishment demonstration.
Hassan Rohani, who is a candidate in the June 14 presidential election and considered a moderate, attended Taheri’s funeral. Slogans in support of opposition leaders Musavi and Karrubi were also chanted over the weekend at Rohani’s campaign meeting in Tehran.
This video clip from the event shows the crowd calling for the release of political prisoners. They also chant, “Viva Musavi, welcome Rohani.”
Several of Rohani’s campaign staff were reportedly detained at the meeting. Some were released later.
Reports say prominent reformist figures, including former Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri and Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of former President Mohammad Khatami, were also present at Taheri’s funeral. The son of Ayatollah Montazeri, Ahmad Montazeri, also attended.
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